The UFC drought is over, and the rebooking of Derrick Lewis versus Sergey Spivak is upon us. Along with this headliner, we have the finalists of the Road to UFC tournament taking their place in the spotlight on the main card and prelims.
There’s a lot of doubt being shone on Lewis’ place in the heavyweight top 10 after his recent slew of losses. On the other hand, Sergey Spivak looks to build his claim for title contention on the back of ‘The Black Beast’.
Derrick Lewis vs Sergey Spivak Prediction
An orthodox power puncher, Lewis is 37 years of age, but still maintains some of the heaviest hands in the division. Lewis might just have the most knockout power in the UFC since Ngannou vacated the belt.
Lewis’ advantages in this fight lie in his lethal power, experience, and takedown defense. He has shown competent defense in prior fights, and leverages his body mass well to create advantages for himself in grappling exchanges.
Whilst Lewis has had mixed success in the UFC, he is entering the twilight of his career. He anticipates his opponent’s actions too much, and has a tendency to shell and turn away from strikes when they begin to overwhelm him.
Also a vital flaw in Lewis’ style is his bladed stance which leaves him wide open for low leg kicks. Lewis also inverts his knees when throwing strikes, which means he can be drawn out and punished with leg kicks. Gane did this with great effect, and laid out a blueprint for fighting Lewis at range with leg and body shots.
Sergey Spivak matches Lewis for height and weight. He’s an orthodox pressure wrestler who likes to box his opponents on the feet before dragging them down, and finishing with ground and pound.
Spivak has great judo throws and offensive wrestling, he leverages his opponent’s weight to topple bigger men in the clinch, before working them on the ground where he’s best. Spivak doesn’t have the power or striking advantage versus Lewis, but he certainly has the grappling and cardio.
His style holds the advantages in this matchup, since Lewis often gives his hips up when blading his stance on the offense.
The Fight Fanatic Prediction – Spivak by TKO (Ground)
Spivak’s chances drastically increase as the fight goes on. As the younger, fitter fighter with the more efficient style, he should be able to drag Lewis to the mat whenever and wherever he can. He nullifies Lewis’ most dangerous aspect, which is his boxing, and he can continue to work Lewis on the ground, which is where he operates the most.
Granted, Lewis has a considerable puncher’s chance, Spivak has all the tools necessary to finish Lewis on the ground. We shouldn’t be surprised if he can finish Lewis on the feet too, since he’s proven to have some pretty good boxing.
The Fight Fanatic predicts – Sergey Spivak by TKO
Mathew is a UK-based combat sports journalist. He currently works for MMA Knockout, part of the Sports Illustrated FanNation network. The Fight Fanatic is Mathew’s one-man operation. His past bylines include Heavy on UFC, Sportskeeda, and MMA UK.
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