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UFC Vegas 6: Lewis vs. Oleinik results and post-fight analysis

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Mookie Alexander recaps and analyzes all the action that took place at UFC VEGAS 6: ‘LEWIS VS. OLEINIK’ in Las Vegas.

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Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC VEGAS 6: ‘LEWIS VS. OLEINIK’ is in the books, and Derrick Lewis certainly came out “balls blazing” as he said he would against Aleksei Oleinik. Next thing you know, he’s willingly grappling with Oleinik, aka giving him the literal best path to victory possible. Lewis survived Oleinik’s submission attempts — the “British Bulldog” is what Lewis thought those scarf holds were called — and then was effectively told by his corner to not do that again.

He listened.

A big right hand floored Oleinik and he ate a ton of big punches from “The Black Beast” before Herb Dean intervened to stop it inside of 21 seconds. Honestly it was stopped a few punches too late but I don’t think it was anything egregiously awful. It’s the 11th knockout/TKO of Lewis’ UFC career, surpassing Cain Velasquez for the all-time heavyweight record.

Lewis has won three in a row and he’s still very much in the hunt for another title shot. He’s been working on his conditioning and weight loss, he’s as powerful as ever, and hopefully he took that shit that he said he needed to take before the post-fight interview with Paul Felder.

More thoughts below:

Main Card

  • Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman got back in the win column for the first time since 2017, earning a unanimous decision over Omari Akhmedov in what was honestly a sluggish performance. Akhmedov bizarrely was very willing to wrestle Weidman even when he was landing the heavier strikes, and by the end of round two they were both gassed. Weidman mustered up enough energy to take Akhmedov down in the final round, advance to full mount, and largely dominated to earn two 10-8s and thus the victory. It’s nice to see him have his hand raised again, but he looks nothing like the man who ran through the 185 lbs ranks and dethroned Anderson Silva. He’s still good enough to be a ranked middleweight but absolutely did not look like someone who should be in the title hunt again.
  • Darren Stewart getting the win over Maki Pitolo was not much of a surprise... it’s how he won that is the shock. Pitolo went in for a single leg takedown, left his head there to be grabbed, and Stewart capitalized with an air-tight guillotine choke that had Pitolo pi-tapping. That’s the first submission victory of Stewart’s career, and he dedicated that performance to his friend and fellow MMA fighter Jahreau Shepherd, who was stabbed to death at his own birthday party.
  • Yana Kunitskaya beat Julija Stoliarenko in what was quite comfortably not just the worst fight of the night but easily one of the worst I’ve seen this year. Legend has it that Kunitskaya still has Stoliarenko pushed up against the fence.
  • We know Beneil Dariush for his grappling, but he can hit hard and he’s no joke on the feet. Scott Holtzman is an incredibly durable, tough fighter, and Dariush just smashed him in a round. The spinning backfist/forearm is a legitimate KO of the Year contender but he missed the lightweight limit, so he doesn’t even get a bonus for that. Knees, big left hands, the whole shebang! Five straight wins for Dariush, and this is his fourth straight by finish. He’s due another big step up in competition; he’s more than earned it.

Preliminary Card

  • As expected, Tim Means and Laureano Staropoli went to war for three rounds. Means’ big head kick knockdown in the second frame turned the fight in his favor for good, as he was able to absorb Staropoli’s best shots and then control him along the fence in the final round to get the decision win. Not only did Means cut that extra weight to get some of Staropoli’s purse, he might even get $100,000 for Fight of the Night because Laureano isn’t eligible for a bonus.
  • Kevin Holland floored Joaquin Buckley with a straight right hand in the opening round, then knocked him out with that same counter shot in the final round. That was a spirited effort from Buckley, who fought like he needed a KO with every punch he threw, but the awkward rhythm of this fight always favored the more skilled and physically superior Holland.
  • Alex Munoz got that first takedown against Nasrat Haqparast... and then he spent the rest of the evening getting beaten up on the feet. A one-sided contest and a much-needed win for Haqparast after his KO loss to Drew Dober earlier this year.
  • DAMN! Andrew Sanchez turned in arguably the best performance of his career. Wellington Turman got hurt with one right hand and then iced with the next one. That was a violent KO and while it’s easy to attribute Sanchez’s win to putting in the work in the gym, I think it has to do with the mullet he was sporting.
  • Gavin Tucker was nearly knocked out in the opening round by Justin Jaynes after a massive uppercut, then he pantsed himself getting out of a guillotine choke, and then just dominated Jaynes the rest of the way. Excellent and patient striking — the body kicks were so pivotal — slowed Jaynes down and then a big knee in the final round was the beginning of the end. Tucker was able to get the rear-naked choke to cap off a terrific showing after suffering that early knockdown.
  • Youssef Zalal picked up his third UFC win in six months with a comprehensive decision victory over Peter Barrett. Zalal nearly KO’d Barrett with a spinning back kick, then nearly choked him out in round two, and had full mount and an arm-triangle choke in the final round. Impressive stuff from “The Moroccan Devil.”
  • Irwin Rivera got his first UFC win with a split decision over Ali AlQaisi. Rivera clearly took the third, but the other two rounds were quite close and I think this one could’ve gone either way. I suppose Rivera’s damage on the feet was what two of the judges felt was enough to earn the nod.