Following the UFC’s return to New York with UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden last month, the promotion has wasted no time in bringing another event back to the state, with a main card packed with heavy hitters almost certain to guarantee knockout action tonight.
It’s a double-header for the Octagon this weekend, and while UFC 206 might be stealing most of the headlines, flying under the radar is the latest offering for Fight Pass subscribers with UFC Fight Night 102, headlined by ‘The Black Beast’ Derrick Lewis vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov.
The four-fight main card in Albany has a couple of heavyweight bouts on the menu and there are knockouts a plenty on all their records. But it’s fan favourite Lewis – one of the breakout stars of 2016 – who has an opportunity to really assert himself into the top of the heavyweight contender picture.
Lewis is coming into this fight riding a four fight win streak – which is the longest current streak in the division, equalled only by current champion Stipe Miocic. With a record of 16-4 (1), Lewis has managed to obtain 14 of those wins by way of knockout so clearly he doesn’t like to waste any time when he’s in the cage.
Since entering the Octagon for the first time in 2014, he’s notched up six wins by knockout – a feat matched only by the current lightweight champion Conor McGregor. Currently ranked number 10 in the official UFC rankings, another knockout tonight, in his first UFC main event, could land him just one win away from a title shot.
One of the other notable fighters on the main card to keep your eye on is French behemoth Francis Ngannou. ‘The Predator’ has certainly been disposing of his prey in spectacular fashion since entering the UFC last December, claiming all three wins in the by way of knockout.
He steps up a level tonight, however, taking on veteran Anthony Hamilton, whose own heavy hands mean this fight is likely to signal a break for the scoring judges. Most definitely a litmus test for Ngannou, a win over Hamilton in a co-main event slot would hand him some major momentum as we head into 2017.
One thing that is a guaranteed is that like all Fight Pass cards the pacing should be quick and with a card stacked with power punchers we could all be in store for an early night.
UFC Fight Night 102
Shamil Abdurakhimov (253.8) vs. Derrick Lewis (265.6)
Anthony Hamilton (254.6) vs. Francis Ngannou (257.2)
Corey Anderson (205.4) vs. Sean O’Connell (205.6)
Saparbek Safarov (205) vs. Gian Villante (205.8)
Justine Kish (116.4) vs. Ashley Yoder (115.2)
Randy Brown (170.8) vs. Brian Camozzi (169.6)
Joe Gigliotti (186) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (184.4)
Andrew Sanchez (185) vs. Trevor Smith (185.4)
Shane Burgos (145.6) vs. Tiago Trator (145.6)
Marc Diakiese (155.4) vs. Frankie Perez (155.8)
Keith Berish (184.6) vs. Ryan Janes (184.8)
JJ Aldrich (115.4) vs. Juliana Lima (115.6)