The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns with a new event in Vegas this week, after an unbelievable historical PPV event last week. But this weeks' edition should not be overlooked as one of the greatest heavyweights in UFC history will face a mighty challenger. UFC Vegas 65 will have Derrick Lewis face Serghei Spivac in the main event of the evening. Here are our predictions for this battle.
UFC Vegas 65: Derrick Lewis vs Serghei Spivac Predictions & Analysis
Derrick Lewis Preview
Derrick is a 37-year-old American fighter. He made his UFC debut in 2014 against Jack May, whom Lewis knocked out in the 1st round. In total, Derrick had 24 fights in the UFC: 14 won, 7 lost.
In 2018, Derrick became the main contender for the title. In November, he attempted to challenge Daniel Cormier's belt but was choked out in the 2nd round. After that, Lewis went on a streak of 4 victories in a row and in August 2021 fought with Cyril Gan for the title of interim champion. Lewis lost by TKO in the 3rd round.
Derrick Lewis is dangerous because of his knockout power. He can lose the fight, but in the last round, he suddenly sends the enemy to sleep. At the same time, Lewis does not run forward to the opponent, trying to demolish him at the start. He slowly waits for the right moment to deliver a hard punch.
Derrick has a big problem with grappling. He cannot resist even average wrestlers, he allows himself to be easily transferred to the ground and controlled there. In addition, Lewis does not know how to defend himself against submissions. So, 43-year-old Alexey Oleinik, whose peak of physical form passed 10 years ago, kept Lewis on the canvas without any problems.
Derrick's main problem is that he can easily give up. When he realizes that he cannot win the fight, he simply stops actively resisting and allows himself to finish.
Serghei Spivak Preview
Serghei is a 27-year-old fighter from Moldova who started his professional career in 2014. Before moving to the UFC, Spivak competed exclusively in the Ukrainian WWFC promotion, where in June 2017 he became the heavyweight champion, submitting the legendary Travis Fulton, a fighter with a record of 257-55-10, in the 1st round.
Serghei's debut in the strongest league in the world took place in May 2019 in a duel against Walt Harris, whom he lost to by knockout in 50 seconds. Spivac closed this defeat in October of the same year, strangling Tai Tuivasa in the 2nd round. But Serghei did not consolidate his success: in February 2020, Spivac lost to Marcin Tybura by a unanimous decision.
Spivac continued by defeating Carlos Felipe by a majority of referee votes. 2021 began to turn out well for the Moldovan: in February, he finished in the 2nd round of Jared Vanderaa, and in June he defeated Alexei Oleinik by unanimous decision.
Serghei has a good wrestling base, thanks to which he transfers opponents well to the ground, exercises control, and looks for an opportunity to end the fight ahead of schedule. In the stand, Spivac relies primarily on his one-punch knockout power.
Serghei lacks a boxing base. He has no problems with the attack in the stand, but the defense is poorly set. Serghei often opens up and stagnates, which is why he misses a lot of punches. In addition, he allows the opponent to control himself at the net and score points on this.
The duel between Spivac and Oleinik showed that Sergey did not have enough strength to maintain a high pace of battle for more than 1 minute. He failed to finish the 41-year-old veteran who goes out after one serious hit. In critical moments, Spivac lacked the strength.
Lewis vs Spivak Prediction
This is a difficult main event for a safe prediction. Both fighters have the knockout power to end the fight with one accurate shot but at the same time, their fighting style is completely different. Lewis is not a fighter that rushes forward, which is why we expect a slower first round and the fight to not end in the first round. On the other end, Spivac is terrible on his feet and can get knocked out, so he will try to transfer the fight to the ground as soon as possible.
In other words, if the fight remains in the standing position, we will hope that Spivac can survive a round against the much stronger Lewis. If the fight goes to the canvas, however, we will be hoping that Lewis can withstand the furious submission attempts and ground and pound from Spivac, who is far better on the ground. In each case, we think that we shall see Round 2 start in this fight.