There were two words to best describe the UFC 271 co-main event between Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa. “Swangin'” and “Bangin.'”
Okay, maybe not. We’re not even sure “swangin'” is even a word. But the bottom line was that the UFC had put together a fan-friendly match-up between two popular heavyweights known for their knockout power. In Lewis, you had the hometown hero looking to make up for an iffy performance against Ciryl Gane at home last year. Tuivasa, meanwhile, had won fans over with his exuberant personality, and with his beloved shoey celebrations.
Lewis and Tuivasa tied up early when the action got underway, Tuivasa driving “The Black Beast” into the fence. And it wasn’t long before ref Dan Miragliotta broke them up and restarted the action at center. There, Tuivasa took a big swing that put him off balance, but Lewis couldn’t capitalize. Then, it was Lewis pushing Tuivasa into the fence, dropping for a takedown attempt of his own.
In the clinch, Tuivasa landed an elbow, but Lewis scored a takedown care of an inside trip. Lewis then began unloading from half guard, but Tuivasa made it to his feet even while eating heavy blows, and returned fire! Back into a clinch they went, and Lewis landed another trip. Tuivasa grabbed a leg, while Lewis landed a few elbows; Tuivasa used the takedown attempt to get back to the feet.
Round two, well, the fight even making it to a second round likely came as a surprise to many. Tuivasa hit home with a low kick, but Lewis moved in and clipped Tuivasa, who backpedalled. Lewis failed on a takedown, but hurt Tuivasa coming out of it. Lewis went after the Australian, but Tuivasa survived, moments later, he rocked Lewis! A left and a right, followed by an elbow, hurt Lewis. Lewis was wobbly, and Tuivasa followed up, cracking the Texas native with another massive elbow. Lewis face-planted, and that was all she wrote!
Official Result: Tai Tuivasa def. Derrick Lewis by KO (elbow), Round 2, 1:40