UFC Fight Night Report: Derrick Lewis knocks out Aleksei Oleinik

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/09/ufc-fight-night-report-derrick-lewis-knocks-out-aleksei-oleinik/

UFC Fight Night Report: Derrick Lewis knocks out Aleksei Oleinik

By: Eric Marcotte

The UFC returned to the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada this past Saturday night, for their second Fight Night card of the month. The event was headlined by a fight between heavyweight contenders Derrick Lewis and Aleksei Oleinik. Going into this bout, Lewis had won his last two fights by decision and was looking to re-establish himself as a top contender in the division. For Aleksei Oleinik, an emphatic win over the 4th ranked Lewis could feasibly catapult him into the top five at heavyweight, so the stakes were high for both men. In the co-main event, former UFC Middleweight Champion, Chris Weidman, looked to gets things back on track as he returned to the middleweight division, against the eleventh ranked Omari Akhmedov.

Commentary for this card was provided by the duo of Brendan Fitzgerald and Paul Felder. Performance bonuses were awarded to Andrew Sanchez, Darren Stewart, Gavin Tucker, and Kevin Holland.


*Irwin Rivera def. Ali Alqaisi by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

*Youssef Zalal def. Peter Barrett by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

*Gavin Tucker def. Justin Jaynes by rear-naked choke at 1:43 of Round 3

*Andrew Sanchez def. Wellington Turman by KO at 4:14 of Round 1

*Nasrat Haqparast def. Alexander Munoz by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Kevin Holland def. Joaquin Buckley by TKO at 0:32 of Round 3

*Tim Means def. Laureano Staropoli by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

*Beneil Dariush def. Scott Holtzman by TKO at 4:38 of Round 1

*Yana Kunitskaya def. Julija Stoliarenko by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

*Darren Stewart def. Maki Pitolo by guillotine at 3:41 of Round 1

*Chris Weidman def. Omari Akhmedov by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)

*Derrick Lewis def. Aleksei Oleinik by TKO at 0:21 of Round 2


Rivera took Alqaisi down with a body lock in the opening minute of the first round and immediately moved into side control. Alqaisi prevented Rivera from advancing and scrambled back to his feet quickly. Rivera landed a body kick, and Alqaisi responded with a takedown of his own. Alqaisi was looking for a guillotine, but Rivera escaped back to his feet. Rivera threw a flying knee and a left hook, and then they exchanged hard leg kicks. Alqaisi ended the round with one more takedown. Very tough round to score, but I gave Alqaisi the edge.

After feeling each other out for the first minute or so of the second, they started to throw with some real power. Alqaisi cracked Rivera with a big right hand that he didn’t react to. Rivera stuffed a pair of takedown attempts. They exchanged a lot of 1-2’s throughout this round. Rivera was starting to pull slightly ahead in the striking department, and he landed a big knee near the end of the round. 19-19.

Rivera caught Alqaisi with a straight left, and Alqaisi secured another takedown moments later. Rivera got right back up and hit Alqaisi with a big inside calf kick. During a brief clinch exchange, Rivera landed a solid knee that landed low, and the action was paused. Rivera landed a huge flying knee as the fight resumed, and Alqaisi just walked through it somehow. With about a minute left in the round, Rivera changed levels and took Alqaisi down. I scored the fight 29-28 Rivera.

WINNER: Irwin Rivera by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

This was a very close fight, and I thought the first two rounds could of went either way. Both these guys showcased great chins throughout this fight and gave good accounts of themselves in the grappling department as well. Rivera is now 1-1 in the UFC.


Zalal quickly dropped Barrett with a perfect spinning back kick to the head, and I thought this fight was over, but Barrett showed incredible toughness and durability, fighting his way back to his feet. Zalal landed a pair of knees to the head that Barrett just ate. After getting pieced up on the feet throughout the majority of the round, Barrett managed to pressure Zalal into the cage and began to look for a takedown. He couldn’t get it, and they separated with a minute remaining. Barrett landed a head kick of his own near the end of the round, but it wasn’t enough to steal back the round.

Barrett wasted no time in taking this fight back to the fence to begin the second round. Zalal reversed Barrett’s momentum to take him down a with a judo throw and took his back on the ground. Zalal was doing some really good work from this position, pursuing the rear-naked choke, but Barrett fought the submission attempts off. Zalal spends almost the entirety of the round in this position, and he was clearly up on the scorecards going into the final round.

Barrett landed a solid straight left hand, and Zalal kept him from advancing with a push kick to the body. Zalal took Barrett down twice throughout the round with a pair of single legs, and the second time he got him down he managed to transition to full mount, before taking Barrett’s back. He rode out the remainder of the round in this position, and I scored the fight 30-26 in his favor.

WINNER: Youssef Zalal by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Youssef Zalal dominated this fight from start to finish. He was the better striker and the better grappler, and this was a much better performance from Zalal then his last outing in June. Barrett showed off tremendous toughness and resiliency throughout the fight, but he just didn’t have much to offer Zalal to make the fight competitive. Zalal is now 3-0 in the UFC.


Tucker landed a nice left hand to kick off the fight. He was incorporating a lot of kicks into his offense to keep Jaynes from going on the attack. Jaynes was having a lot of trouble finding his range in this opening round, but he landed a huge that put Tucker down with a huge uppercut, and he swarmed him with strikes, eventually jumping on a guillotine. It looked like this might be the end of the fight, but Tucker fought out of it, and Tucker ended the round with a tight arm-triangle attempt. The end of this round was crazy.

Tucker started the second round aggressively, mixing up his striking well to overwhelm and confuse Jaynes. Tucker knocked Jaynes mouthpiece out with an uppercut of his own. This was a one-sided round, with Tucker just teeing off on Jaynes from start to finish. Jaynes was looking very tired as the round went on, and Tucker’s pace was taking its toll on him. I thought this round was in 10-8 territory.

Early in the third round, Tucker rocked Jaynes badly with a standing knee to the head, and Jaynes was sent stumbling back into the cage. Tucker pulled him down to the ground and locked in the rear-naked choke for the finish.

WINNER: Gavin Tucker by rear-naked choke at 1:43 of Round 3

Excellent performance from Gavin Tucker here. He completely overwhelmed Jaynes with his pace and did a fantastic job of mixing up his attack to keep Tucker on his feet. He was dangerously close to being finished in the first round, but aside from that sequence, this was a fantastic outing for him. Tucker is now 3-1 in the UFC.


Sanchez pressed Turman against the cage to begin the fight. They exchanged heavy left hands after separating from the clinch. Sanchez’s wide left hook repeatedly found a home. Sanchez caught Turman with a right cross that sends him crashing to the ground, and this fight was over.

WINNER: Andrew Sanchez by KO at 4:14 of Round 1

This was a brutal knockout win for Andrew Sanchez, and this was undoubtedly the highlight of his UFC career thus far. Sanchez credited his move to Tri-Star for the improvements in his striking, and while he was still getting tagged here, he looked much more comfortable on the feet then he has previously. He is now 5-3 in the UFC.


Munoz quickly took Haqparast down, but couldn’t hold him there for long. Munoz caught him low with a knee and the fight was paused momentarily. Haqparast landed a solid uppercut as the fight resumed. They exchanged wide hooks, and Haqparast landed a right that shook Munoz. Munoz attempted a few takedowns throughout the remainder of the round, but Haqparast defended them all. Good opening round for Haqparast.

Haqparast stuffed a takedown attempt from Munoz. Haqparast hurt Munoz with a combination of strikes, and Munhoz shot for a takedown (grabbing Haqparast’s shorts in the progress). They continued to exchange wide hooks, but Haqparast mixed in a healthy number of uppercuts and body shots, while he continued to stuff Munoz’s takedown attempts. Both men were bleeding by the end of the second round. 20-18 Haqparast.

The story of the fight did not change in the third round, as Haqparast continued to outbox Munoz, and landed a series of vicious body strikes near the end of the fight. Munoz made it to the end of the fight, but this was another clear round for Nasrat Haqparast. 30-27 Haqparast.

WINNER: Nasrat Haqparast by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

Haqparast returned to form here, after his knockout loss to Drew Dober earlier this year. Munoz landed some good shots through the fight, but by and large, this fight was all Haqparast. I’m very high on Haqparast, and I can see him becoming a player down the road in the talent stacked lightweight division. He is now 4-2 in the UFC.


Holland took this fight on a few days’ notice after his fight against Trevin Giles fell apart right before their walkouts last Saturday. Buckley fought just 8 days previously at an LFA 87, where he defeated Jackie Gosh by second-round TKO.

Buckley was throwing a ton of heavy shots to the body early. Holland caught him with a solid elbow. Holland began to attack the lead leg of Buckley. Buckley landed a pair of uppercuts low, and the fight was paused. Despite being the recipient of the low blow, Holland was talking trash until the fight resumed. Holland floored Buckley with a right cross, but Buckley picked himself up quickly. Holland ended the round with a solid flurry. 10-9 Holland.

Much like the first round, Buckley was aggressive out the gates. Holland’s jab was effective when he threw it throughout the round. Buckley mixed some leg kicks into his attack, but still fought primarily behind powerful blitz’s. Holland responded with leg kicks of his own, as well as several body shots. This round was closer than the first, but Holland still took it.

Buckley wasn’t interested in touching gloves to start the third round, and humorously, Holland insisted on reaching out to touch regardless. He quickly caught Buckley with another straight right hand, and Buckley went down hard. Referee Mark Smith took a look at Buckley and stopped the fight.

WINNER: Kevin Holland by TKO at 0:32 of Round 3

Kevin Holland is always a ton of fun, and the empty arena was made for him. He has looked great in his last couple fights, and I imagine he will be matched up with a more notable opponent in his next fight. This was my introduction to Joaquin Buckley, and despite the loss, I thought he showed a lot of potential here. He was throwing bombs from the opening the seconds of the fight at a crazy pace. Considering the short notice nature of this fight, and the fact that he fought just 8 days ago, I’m not sure we saw the best Joaquin Buckley here, and I’m looking forward to watching more of him in the future. Kevin Holland is now 5-2 in the UFC.


Staropoli missed weight by 3.5lbs and was fined 20% of his purse.

Means took Staropoli down quickly, but Staropoli had little trouble getting back to his feet. Means landed a solid elbow and then both men exchanged short uppercuts. Staropoli landed a big leg kick and Means responded with a 1-2. Means caught Staropoli with a counter left hand. They both landed solid shots in the pocket to finish the round. This was a close round, and the strike count was more or less even by the end of it. I thought Staropoli’s landed the best shots of the round, and I scored the first round in his favor.

Staropoli opened the second round with a spinning elbow, and Means landed a left hook after a brief clinch exchange. Means dropped Staropoli with a left head kick, but he couldn’t get the finish. Staropoli recovered, and they spent a lot of this round trading huge shots in the pocket. Staropoli landed some low kicks in the final minute to slow Means down. Means ended the round with a heavy elbow. 19-19 on my scorecard.

They continued to trade heavy shots in the third round. Means spent some time searching for a takedown, but Staropoli defended his attempts. Still, Means was racking up a lot of control time by holding Staropoli against the cage. Means grabbed the fence repeatedly and they were separated with ninety seconds remaining. Means returned to the bodylock and brought Staropoli back against the cage. They ended the round in this position, and I scored the fight 29-28 Means.

WINNER: Tim Means by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

This was another fun fight. Win or lose, Means is always entertaining, and this fight was no exception. This was his 22nd fight in the UFC, and he has given no indication that retirement is on his mind. This was an impressive win against a younger fighter who missed weight dramatically.


Dariush missed weight by 2lbs and was fined 20% of his purse.

Dariush opened up the fight with a body kick that echoed throughout the arena. Holtzman poked Dariush in the eye twice in the opening minute, and Dariush was getting frustrated. When the action resumed, Dariush pressured Holtzman into the cage in search of a takedown and landed a knee that wobbled Holtzman. Dariush didn’t let up, picked his shots, and had Holtzman badly hurt. Holtzman shot for a desperation takedown that gave him time to recover, but he was still looking off as they separated. Dariush landed left hand after left hand, and he threw this wild spinning back fist that caught Holtzman flush, and Dariush picked up another walk-off knockout.

WINNER: Beneil Dariush by TKO at 4:38 of Round 1

I thought this was a knockout of the year contender from Beneil Dariush, who would have certainly been in line for a bonus if he did not miss weight. Dariush has won his last 5 fights and finished his last four (with two knockouts of the year candidates in 2020). It’s past time for Dariush to get back to ranked competition. I’d like to see him against Al Iaquinta or Donald Cerrone next.


Kunitskaya pressed Stoliarenko against the cage and landed knees to the body for the first three minutes of the round. Eventually, Stoliarenko tried to climb up Kunitskaya and attempt a guillotine, but that didn’t work and they soon reverted to their previous position. Stoliarenko’s nose was bleeding a bit from Kunitskaya’s shots. 10-9 Kunitskaya.

Kunitskaya brought Stoliarenko right back to the cage to start the second round. Kunitskaya landed an insane number of knees to the body throughout this round. Kunitskaya eventually took her down, and Stoliarenko immediately threatened an armbar. She was unsuccessful, and this fight went to the third round. 20-18 Kunitskaya.

As one may have expected, Kunitskaya started the third round exactly as she did the previous two. This time, Stoliarenko pulled guard, but that didn’t lead to anything. After a couple of minutes, they were stood up, and Kunitskaya wasted no time bringing Stoliarenko back to the cage. This one went the distance. 30-27 Kunitskaya.

WINNER: Yana Kunitskaya by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

This was a really bad fight. Kunitskaya came in with an effective game plan, and she executed it well, but that aside, there isn’t much to say about this one. Kunitskaya is now 3-2 in the UFC.


Stewart was letting his hands go with a blitz to the body, and Pitolo responded with a knee up the middle. Pitolo caught Stewart with a quick right hook. Pitolo mixed things up by attempting a single leg, but Steward immediately went for the guillotine, locking it in, and picking up the first-round finish.

WINNER: Darren Stewart by guillotine at 3:41 of Round 1

Not sure how many people predicted a first-round submission win for Darren Stewart, but he got it done unexpectedly here. Stewart dedicated this fight to his friend, Jahreau Shepherd, who was tragically murdered in July. He has gone 5-5 throughout his last ten fights. While his overall record may not jump off the page, he has notably won 5 of his last 6 fights in the UFC.


Akhmedov defended Weidman’s first three takedown attempts of the fight. Weidman caught him with a left hand and Akhmedov responded with a body shot. Akhmedov landed a right hand and attempted a takedown that Weidman defended. Weidman finally succeeded in getting Akhmedov to the ground, but Akhmedov quickly escaped to his feet. Weidman got him down once again, this time against the cage, and transitioned to half guard. He rode out the round in this position. 10-9 Weidman.

Weidman opened up the second round with a teep kick to the body and he ate a right hand. Akhmedov took Weidman down with a single leg against the cage and landed a few left hands as Weidman worked his way back to his feet. Akhmedov defended a few more takedown attempts from Weidman, and the grappling seemed to be eating away at Weidman’s gas tank. Akhmedov was mixing body shots into his combinations and took Weidman back down in the middle of the cage. Both these guys were tired by the end of the round. 19-19.

Weidman got Akhmedov down early in the third and transitioned into full mount. Weidman was looking for an arm triangle, but Akhmedov did a good job of keeping him from locking it in. Weidman landed some short elbows. He continued to search for that arm triangle throughout the round, but couldn’t find the finish. 29-28 Weidman.

WINNER: Chris Weidman by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)

Weidman desperately needed a win, and if nothing else, he got that here. This wasn’t exactly an impressive performance, but Akhmedov is no joke, and Weidman overcame adversity throughout the second round to get this finish. He is now 2-5 in his last seven fights, and it’s tough to say what’s next for him. Weidman said that he wants to get back in there with the middleweight elite, but I’m not sure that’s a great idea right now. I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets matched up with Edmen Shahbazyan or Derek Brunson next, but I would prefer a Luke Rockhold rematch personally. It’s been scheduled a couple of times previously, and I think it still makes sense given the points both men are at in their respective careers.


Lewis came out of the gates super-aggressive, throwing bombs at Oleinik. Oleinik clinched him up, and Lewis responded by tossing him down to the ground and beginning to work from top position. Oleinik showcased his impressive grappling ability by working his way up, grabbing Lewis’s leg, and bringing him right back down to the ground. Lewis powered out of it and momentarily took back top position, but Oleinik scrambled back on top and started squeezing Lewis’s head, before ending the round with an Americana attempt.

Lewis threw a flying knee to begin the second round and then dropped Oleinik with a huge right hand. Lewis followed Oleinik to the ground and threw down heavy right hands until the fight was stopped.

WINNER: Derrick Lewis by TKO at 0:21 of Round 2

With this knockout, Derrick Lewis moved into sole possession of the record for most knockout wins in UFC heavyweight history (11). He put himself in danger in the first round by engaging Oleinik on the ground, but he got back to his bread and butter in the second round and got the finish. In his post-fight interview, Lewis talked about how close Oleinik was to finishing him in the first and expressed his desire to drop a few pounds before returning to the octagon sometime in December. I imagine he will fight Alistair Overeem or Curtis Blaydes next, as those are perhaps the most notable opponents he has yet to cross paths with (Miocic aside). Lewis is now on a three-fight winning streak.

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Lewis did well to survive that “British bulldog choke” as he called it. 2nd round was exactly what I was expecting. Hopefully Lewis loses those 15 lbs and makes another run at the title.

On the opposite side of things, Chris Weidman picked up a win but looked pretty rough. It reminded me of watching BJ Penn in recent years because Weidman just seemed a shell of the guy who went toe to toe with Silva. The fight game is cruel, and it’s hard to imagine Chris making another run to the top in current form.

Dariush’s spinning back forearm knockout is worth looking up, if anyone didn’t see it (or hear it).

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