A big heavyweight matchup is on deck for the UFC’s final event of 2021.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was first to report former title challenger and #3 ranked contender Derrick Lewis and surging #7 ranked contender Chris Daukaus are lined up for a five-round headlining spot on December 18th, presumably at the UFC APEX in Vegas. After Daukaus’ team initially denied the fight was signed, they’ve since come to terms per MMA Junkie, so it looks like we’ve got a fight.
Daukaus (12-3) is riding a five-fight winning streak, with four of those wins coming in the UFC. He earned a $50,000 performance bonus for his second-round TKO of Shamil Abdurakhimov at last weekend’s UFC 266 in Las Vegas. His other UFC wins (all by knockout) have come against Aleksei Oleinik, Rodrigo Nascimento, and Parker Porter.
Lewis (25-8, 1 NC) is coming off a third-round TKO loss to interim champion Ciryl Gane at UFC 265 in his hometown of Houston, TX. ‘The Black Beast’ has been a perennial contender and is vaunted knockout power has felled the likes of Curtis Blaydes, Alexander Volkov, Aleksei Oleinik, and Travis Browne. He also holds a unanimous decision over current champion Francis Ngannou, but no sensible person actually wants to remember that fight.
Other fights targeted for that card include Raquel Pennington vs. Julia Avila, Raphael Assuncao vs. Ricky Simon, and Nina Nunes vs. Amanda Lemos.