Joe Rogan did not hold back on the quality of the UFC 226 co-main event between Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou. With much anticipation that we were about to see someone get knocked out, the fight was unbelievably dreadful even by heavyweight standards, and Rogan declared it the worst heavyweight bout ever. I’m sure fans are clamoring to re-watch Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski 3 to see if that statement holds up.
Anyway, Lewis won by unanimous decision, doing so despite re-aggravating his back problems. If he’s to be forgiven for not throwing a lot due to his compromised health, then no one knows what in the world Ngannou was doing. Dana White says his ego is “out of control,” and if that’s the case then I’ve never seen someone’s ego get so big that they think they can win a fight by KO (excessive staring and feinting).
According to FIghtMetric, Ngannou landed 11 total strikes, whereas Lewis was credited with 20. Lewis only connected once to Ngannou’s head. Ngannou only threw 7 strikes in the opening round. Just how bad is this type of output? FightMetric’s Michael Carroll listed the fewest combined strikes (which includes non-significant strikes) in UFC three-rounders, and Lewis vs. Ngannou is now second-fewest of all-time.
Fewest Combined Strikes Landed, Three-round UFC Fight— Michael Carroll (@MJCflipdascript) July 8, 2018
23 - Pulver vs. Roque
31 - Lewis vs. Ngannou
34 - Moroz vs. Taylor
36 - Khabilov vs. Martins
42 - Liddell vs. Bustamante
42 - Brimage vs. Blanco#UFC226
Jens Pulver vs. Joao Roque in 2000 has the dubious distinction of being #1, with Roque also failing on 17 of his 18 takedown attempts. Incredibly, four of the six worst fights in terms of strikes landed through 15 minutes have occurred within the past six years, but none of those fights had the hype and interest of Lewis vs. Ngannou.
Just in case you’re wondering, Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic combined for 60 total strikes in 4:33 worth of action.