The landscape of the UFC’s heavyweight division can change with one punch, kick, knee or elbow.
That’s why fight fans will be on the edge of their seats when knockout artist Derrick Lewis meets former champion Fabricio Werdum in a featured bout at UFC 216.
Lewis (18–5, 1 NC) briefly announced his retirement from mixed martial arts following a fourth-round TKO loss to Mark Hunt in June in what was a Fight of the Night performance. Clearly, retirement didn’t last long, as he accepted a bout with Werdum without much hesitation. It will be interesting to see how Lewis performs, considering the Houston resident spent a significant portion of his fight camp helping victims of the devastating August floods that happened throughout Texas.
Werdum (21–7–1) is looking to bounce back from a majority decision loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 213, although that fight could’ve conceivably been scored a draw. Werdum lost the first two rounds—the first round was close—but the final stanza was so one-sided in favour of the Brazilian it had many wondering why only one judge scored as a 10-8 round. Werdum even said afterwards he was going to appeal the loss because he felt he won.
Lewis had won six straight prior to his loss to Hunt and he might just be the hardest puncher in all of MMA at the moment, while Werdum is still in the upper echelon of the division. Both men remain in the title picture.
Here’s a look at the complete UFC 216 lineup:
— Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee
— Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg
— Fabricio Werdum vs. Derrick Lewis
— Mara Romero Borella vs. Kalindra Faria
— Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
— Tom Duquesnoy vs. Cody Stamann
— Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
— Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata
— Pearl Gonzalez vs. Poliana Botelho
— Walt Harris vs. Mark Godbeer
— John Moraga vs. Magomed Bibulatov
— Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
— Matt Schnell vs. Marco Beltran