UFC 244: Derrick Lewis vs. Blagoy Ivanov in Development

Derrick Lewis UFC 244
Derrick Lewis Credit: Mike Straus/Cageside Press

Derrick Lewis is nearly set to return to the same arena where his lone title shot came, Madison Square Garden, at UFC 244 against Blagoy Ivanov.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto first reported the heavyweight addition to UFC 244.

Two heavyweights going in opposite directions will cross paths in New York City. Derrick Lewis has lost his last two fights, while Blagoy Ivanov is on a two-fight win streak. Ivanov will get his second top-five opponent in four UFC appearances as Lewis is ranked fifth.

Derrick Lewis has been a fan-favorite for a long time. His blistering knockout power and entertaining personality have made him a beloved figure in the sport. With 12 Octagon victories and 10 knockouts, “The Black Beast” is always a dangerous opponent. Lewis received his first title shot on a month’s notice against Daniel Cormier in November of last year after winning nine of his previous 10 fights. After a second-round defeat in that bout, the 34-year-old returned in March 2019 against Junior dos Santos, losing a back-and-forth Fight of the Night with the former champion.

Blagoy Ivanov came to the UFC as the reigning PFL/WSOF heavyweight champion with four defenses of his title. He was given a tough promotional debut in a main event slot against Junior dos Santos, losing a five-round decision. Since then, the former sambo world champion has defeated both Ben Rothwell and Tai Tuivasa.

UFC 244 will take place on November 2 from Madison Square Garden in New York City. The only fight connected to the card at the moment is the aforementioned bout between Derrick Lewis and Blagoy Ivanov.