Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight contenders Travis Browne and Derrick Lewis will clash TONIGHT (Feb. 19, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 105 inside Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Browne has endured a serious rough stretch in the last couple years. It may have come opposite the best in the world, but Browne has really looked flat in both wins and losses. Nevertheless, the top 10 Heavyweight can look to get back into the win column tonight. As for Lewis, Heavyweight’s most active fighter has put together a solid win streak. It hasn’t always been pretty, but Lewis has been outlasting and blasting the competition with his eyes on the title.
Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for each athlete:
Key Wins: Josh Barnett (UFC 168), Alistair Overeem (UFC Fight Night 26), Brendan Schaub (UFC 181)
Key Losses: Fabricio Werdum (UFC 203, UFC on FOX 5), Cain Velasquez (UFC 200), Andrei Arlovski (UFC 187)
Keys to Victory: Browne is a devastating combination of size and athleticism. He moves very well for a man his size, and his attacks pack plenty of power. Additionally, it’s worth remembering that Browne has always shown a solid grappling game.
In this bout, it may be his easiest path to victory.
On the feet, either man could win this fight. It is Heavyweight after all. A couple years back, Browne would likely be favored to win a kickboxing match, but he’s looked far more passive in recent fights, which is far from the ideal strategy opposite “Black Beast.”
That said, Browne is one of the few men that can match Lewis’ athleticism. When Lewis’ past opponents have really tried they generally succeed in taking him down but have trouble controlling him.
In the past, Browne has shown excellent top control, ground strikes, and submissions. If he gets into a dominant position opposite Lewis, it’s going to be much harder than usual for Lewis to simply stand and escape.
Key Wins: Roy Nelson (UFC Fight Night 90), Shamil Abdurakhimov (UFC Fight Night 102), Gabriel Gonzaga (UFC Fight Night 86), Viktor Pesta (UFC 192)
Key Losses: Shawn Jordan (UFC Fight Night 68), Matt Mitrione (UFC Fight Night 50)
Keys to Victory: Lewis is a big and powerful Heavyweight with a boxing background. In the cage, that translates into the ability to throw fast and hard combinations. Perhaps most interestingly, Lewis is able to carry fight-finishing power deep into fights, even while completely exhausted.
He’s also able to get back up from takedowns like few others.
In this match up, Browne’s transformation into a jab and counter fighter should really benefit Lewis. When Lewis is forced to chase opponents down, he can get a bit sloppy, but an opponent will to stand in the pocket is right in his wheelhouse.
In this match, Lewis would be smart to go to the body early and often. When his opponents cover up, Lewis does a nice job of ripping body punches or digging knees into the body from the double-collar tie. After touching Browne up, finishing his combinations low would really help Lewis take over as the fight wears on.
If Lewis can get into a groove and connect consistently, Browne is going to sleep.
Bottom Line: This fight has the potential to be an ugly grind-fest or an absolute barn burner.
In Browne’s case, this is really a must-win fight. He hasn’t looked all that good at any point since his first loss to Werdum, putting some real pressure on Browne to prove that he’s still a dangerous contender.
If Browne is able to defeat Lewis — ideally in violent fashion — he’s right back in the mix of top contenders. However, another loss sets him far back, likely outside the top 10, and forces him to work his way back up.
There’s a lot on the line for Lewis as well. He’s put together five straight wins over decent competition, but Browne is a definite step up. If he can prove himself against the contender, Lewis has shown that his improvements are enough to earn him a spot in the title mix opposite the world’s best.
On the other hand, a loss may expose that Lewis is still not technical enough to compete with the best. In that case, another few fights against non-Top 10 competition would do well to help Lewis continue to grow before he tries to make the climb again.
TONIGHT at UFC Fight Night 105, Travis Browne and Derrick Lewis will brawl in the main event. Which man will have his hand raised?
Source:: mma mania