Saturday night sees the final UFC fight card of the year, with a pair of hard-hitting heavyweights looking to score one final knockout to round out the year.
In the red corner, former title challenger Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis, the UFC’s number one heavyweight knockout artist and longtime fan favourite. In the blue corner, rising heavyweight contender Chris Daukaus, who has blasted his way into the UFC’s heavyweight division and surged his way up the rankings.
Lewis has a staggering 20 knockouts from 25 career wins, but is heading into Saturday night’s main event at the UFC Apex off the back of a defeat. His loss to Ciryl Gane saw him agonisingly miss out on the interim heavyweight title, and now he’s ready to bounce back by halting the rise of another young contender.
But Daukaus has proved he’s more than worthy of his shot at one of the division’s big names. After missing out on the CFFC heavyweight title, he signed for the UFC and has reeled off four consecutive wins, with all of them coming via TKO or KO. His three most recent performances each earned him $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses, too. So it’s fair to say Daukaus is in top form heading into the matchup.
But, despite holding stoppage wins over the likes of Shamil Abdurakhimov, Alexei Oleinik and Rodrigo Nascimento, Daukaus is making a big leap in terms of danger when he faces Lewis. The Houston native is a thunderous puncher and, while he may concede a significant speed advantage to Daukaus, Lewis has proved on multiple times through his career that one punch is all it takes to turn a fight in his favour.
Can Daukaus continue his rise and claim a huge scalp, or will Lewis use his prodigious punch power to add another name to his list of knockout victims? We’ll find out on Saturday night.
Also set for action at the UFC Apex is a battle between two welterweights with a point to prove.
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson remains one of the best technical strikers in the sport, but he has been unable to take those skills all the way to a UFC world title. Twice he challenged then-champ Tyron Woodley but, on both occasions, he couldn’t quite find that winning formula. Now he’s ranked fifth and in the undesirable situation of being something of a gatekeeper for the division. However, a spectacular win over Belal Muhammad could change all that.
Muhammad is a teak-tough campaigner whose willingness to face anyone has seen him move steadily up the welterweight rankings. Currently ranked 10th at 170 pounds, a bout with Thompson represents a chance to leapfrog his rivals and gatecrash the division’s top five.
It’s a crucial matchup for both men, and one that should deliver a fascinating contest on Saturday night.
UFC Fight Night 199: Fight Card
- Derrick Lewis vs. Chris Daukaus
- Stephen Thompson vs. Belal Muhammad
- Amanda Lemos vs. Angela Hill
- Raphael Assuncao vs. Ricky Simon
- Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Mateusz Gamrot
- Cub Swanson vs. Darren Elkins
- Dustin Stoltzfus vs. Gerald Meerschaert
- Raoni Barcelos vs. Victor Henry
- Justin Tafa vs. Harry Hunsucker
- Sijara Eubanks vs. Melissa Gatto
- Charles Jourdain vs. Andre Ewell
- Raquel Pennington vs. Macy Chiasson
- Don’Tale Mayes vs. Josh Parisian
- Jordan Leavitt vs. Matt Sayles