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UFC Fight Night: Mousasi vs. Souza - Idiot's Guide and Preview to Matt Mitrione vs. Derrick Lewis

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The first Heavyweight fight to take the spotlight is Matt Mitrione against Derrick Lewis. Will Lewis prove to be more than a big puncher in a thin division, or will Mitrione expose Lewis for being one dimensional?

Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Heavyweight Matt Mitrione vs. Derrick Lewis

Non Advanced Stats

18 wins and 5 losses between the two for a combined win percentage of 78%. There are 16 wins by TKO/KO between them for a concussive finishing rate of 70%. In other words, someone will get slept. Lewis is the underdog at +135.

Controversies, Imagined and Otherwise

Heavyweight is a controversy all its own. We are not even a full week removed from Anthony Hamilton vs. Ruan Potts. I feel like we would just laugh instead of secretly cry behind our computer monitors if Hamilton vs. Potts had existed while Cain Velasquez has been actively defending his belt, but instead injuries and a season of TUF have made the division look like a wasteland (well, more so than usual). Thankfully this card in general has not just one, but two solid HW fights.

Analysis

Mitrione did what he was supposed to in his last bout, beating the Nick Saban trained Shawn Jordan. Not a great win, but it was the perfect fight for a guy who was 1-3 in his last four at the time. At this point, he we can talk about who Mitrione is. At 36 years of age, we can't talk about him as a late blooming prospect. He has the distinction of fighting his entire professional career in the UFC with 10 official bouts, which makes him a veteran. And like all veterans, after a certain point they start to become a punching, kicking, larynx mangling version of the STAR tests.

It's still hard to say what exactly the HW division has on its hands with Derrick Lewis. We know a few things. He hits hard, we know that much (I like whoever the Deportes guys are: they commentate like they'e at a BBQ they just finished with plenty of beer to wash down the brisket). He fights out of team Silverback Fight Club, and has been nicknamed the Black Beast, as if there's a rabbit hole of stereotypes that needs its depths plumbed (currently training out of IVoz. Fight Club).

But can he hit hard against the elite? Mitrione may not be elite, but Heavyweight is the one division where you don't have to be elite to be efficient. Sometimes you can kind of stumble your way to success. Don't believe me? Watch Shipp vs. Wiezorek.

Can Lewis stumble his way to success? While it's hard to say, this is a very tough matchup for Derrick. Mitrione is nothing if not durable, and he's incredibly fluid on the ground. One of the things that always struck me about the man dubbed "Meathead" is just how quickly he picked up submissions, especially from his back. He swivels his hips from the bottom like a pro, and I suspect this ability will come in handy if he gets careless.

Despite his nickname, and comments, Mitrione is a fairly calculated fighter inside the cage. I wouldn't expect him to brawl with Lewis. And even then, Lewis gets pretty careless on the feet.

I see Lewis as an unknown quantity. I can count on him to knock someone's block off if they just stand there like Inocente and May, but someone that will move around (Mitrione moves very well for a big guy) and try to put him on his back? You just can't bank of a fighter like that, especially with those odds. And it's not like Lewis has shown to have some underrated chops on the ground. Even Jeremiah Constant was able to flip him end over end before getting punched too many times in the back of the head.

Matt Mitrione by RNC, round 2.