If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That seemed to be the mantra behind Derrick Lewis and Serghei Spivac, whose match-up was kept intact after Lewis pulled out at the eleventh hour back in November.
No illness or ailment would scuttle the fight Saturday at UFC Vegas 68, however. Leaving a very motivated Lewis, who looked to be in the best shape of his career ahead of the fight, to face the rising Spivac, winner of five of his last six.
The fight that played out on Saturday night, or morning for those on the east coast, was anything but expected. Serghei Spivac landed a takedown almost immediately off the opening bell, taking Lewis down with a throw. In side control, Spivac looked to make something happen, but Lewis rolled to his knees. That gave up his back, but Lewis would eventually escape up.
He wouldn’t stay up for long. Repeated takedowns from Spivac followed, some simply mat returns that saw Lewis up and down like a yo-yo. Being ragdolled the entire time saw Lewis unable to get off any offense at all essentially. Instead, it was Spivac in the driver’s seat — and eventually, after one more takedown, he got in position for an arm-triangle choke.
An exhausted Lewis gave a light tap, signalling the end. Spivac, inside of a round, had the submission win, becoming just the second man to submit “The Black Beast” following Daniel Cormier.
A FLAWLESS victory for Serghei Spivac! #UFCVegas68 pic.twitter.com/AqUNpPVx6l
— UFC (@ufc) February 5, 2023
“Today, this is my time. Polar Bear is here. Polar bear is coming,” Spivac said following the victory. “Give me someone from top 5!” Jon Jones was one name on his lips — though that fight might be a ways off just yet.
Official Result: Serghei Spivac def. Derrick Lewis by submission (arm-triangle choke), Round 1, 3:05