It’s main event time, and in it we have Derrick Lewis taking on Shamil Abdurakhimov. Abdurakhimov hasn’t impressed that much in three Octagon appearances, but Lewis is on the cusp of being considered among the elite of the heavyweights, so a win tonight means he could be fighting for a belt soon.
Lewis and Abdurakhimov circle each other, and then Lewis throws a high-kick that the Dagestani catches and turns into a takedown. From side-control, Abdurakhimov threatens with a keylock, and soon Lewis is scrambling back up and they’re clinched against the fence. They break and resume circling, and with 30 seconds left Abdurakhimov catches another kick and throws Lewis down. The horn sounds with him on top.
Whatever Lewis’ gameplan is, it appears his opponent’s is infinitely better, as Abdurakhimov spends much of Round 2 avoiding the lumbering slugger on the feet, and catching a kick and working him on the ground. Lewis does threaten with a heelhook (!), but otherwise, the Dagestani is winning what’s turned out to be a less-than-thrilling fight.
There’s desperation in the air when Round 3 begins, with Lewis headhunting and trying to snag takedowns to make up for lost rounds. Unfortunately for him, Abdurakhimov is just too fast, and besides dodging the incoming punches, he changes levels and scoops Lewis up with a double-leg. Inactivity has referee Dan Miragliotta standing them up and issue the Dagestani a warning, but Lewis is losing, plain and simple.
The pursuit continues into Round 4, with Lewis chasing his foe down like someone who knows they’re behind of the scorecards. But this time around the American finally gets Abdurakhimov down, and that’s all the opportunity he needs. Securing mount while constantly raining down punches, Lewis forces Abdurakhimov to cover up, and all the accumulating blows convince referee Miragliotta to call the bout.
Results: Derrick Lewis def. Shamil Abdurakhimov via TKO (Punches) at 3:42, R4