Sunday, December 5, 2021

Roy Nelson-Derrick Lewis Could Be Biggest Fireworks Of International Fight Week (Editorial)

I know, I know.

Trying to pump up heavyweights Roy Nelson and Derrick Lewis over the likes of Daniel CormierJon Jones, Jose Aldo-Frankie Edgar, Rafael dos Anjos-Eddie Alvarez and the return of Brock Lesnar is likely to fall on deaf ears, but hear me out.

I am in no way saying Nelson-Lewis will be the best fight of International Fight Week.

But it sure as all the makings of an explosive and old-school battle.

Nelson, a 40-year-old former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, has faced off with some of the best heavyweights in the world. And to think, he might not have ever received a contract with the UFC had he not won the reality show.

“Big Country” is coming off a decision win over Jared Rosholt that snapped a three-fight losing skid to, get this, Josh Barnett, top contender Alistair Overeem and Mark Hunt.

Prior to that stretch, the Las Vegas native had faced off with former UFC interim champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, current UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and current UFC heavyweight titleholder Stipe Miocic.

Nelson has also gone toe-to-toe with former champions Fabricio Werdum, Frank Mir, Junior dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski, along with the likes of Mirko CroCop, Brendan Schaub, Stefan Struve and Brad Imes.

He’s 21-12 overall with 18 finishes among his wins with four “Knockout of the Night” honors among them. Of those 12 losses, 10 have been decisions.

On the flip-side is Lewis, who flat-out demolished Gabriel Gonzaga this past April. That came on the heels of a first round knockout over Damian Grabowski.

The 31-year-old sports a three-fight win streak and is 6-2 overall with the UFC, losing to Shawn Jordan and Matt Mitrione.

But this one is for all the marbles as far as Lewis is concerned.

He’s been calling out Nelson for several months and now gets the opportunity to derail the fan favorite in his hometown.

So, if you are looking for a technical battle or a meeting of future hall of famers, this one is not for you. But if the rock’em, sock’em robot ways of old are up your alley, make sure you do not miss Nelson vs. Lewis at UFC Fight Night 90 next week.

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