The Ultimate Fighting Championship stormed into Wichita, Kansas for the first time with a marquee heavyweight fight that delivered on its promise of fireworks, but the draw to the event was only a modest success.
The fight card had little name value, save for the main event, which pitted a former UFC heavyweight champion against one of today’s top contenders.
Junior dos Santos entered the fight having won back-to-back bouts over Blagoy Ivanov and Tai Tuivasa, but really needed an impressive performance against No. 3 ranked Derrick LeWIS to cement his return to contention.
He did just that. Though LeWIS dropped some bombs, dos Santos showed that – at 35 years of age and more than a decade into his UFC career – he’s still got a chin. Not only does he have a chin, dos Santos can still dish out the punishment as well.
The Brazilian landed a huge spinning back kick to LeWIS’ midsection that took much of the steam out of his engine. LeWIS continued to swing for the fences, however, trying to find that one punch that would end the fight in his favor. It never came.
It would be dos Santos that connected and put LeWIS on the canvas and then unleashed with a fury of fists until the fight was stopped, inching dos Santos that much closer to another title shot.