NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 02: Derrick Lewis remains in his corner before the second round of his … [+] ZUFFA LLC VIA GETTY IMAGES
You need to hand it to Ilir Latifi, after two straight thrashings at light heavyweight, the 5-foot-10-inch Swede chose to make a climb to heavyweight. Latifi’s first battle in quite a while new weight division happens on Saturday when he faces previous heavyweight title challenger Derrick Lewis in the opening battle of the UFC 247 ay-per-see card. Lewis is positioned No. 6 in the authority UFC heavyweight rankings while Latifi checks in at No. 12 at 205-pounds.
Lewis, who has a five-inch stature advantage and will have a generous weight advantage over Latifi, he checked in at the heavyweight furthest reaches of 265 pounds at UFC 244, appeared to be shocked that Latifi needed to confront him for his first raid into the heavyweight waters.
“It was a genuine astonishment that they picked Latifi in light of the fact that I accept that he was a little 205-er and for anything, he ought to have went down to 185 as opposed to coming up to heavyweight,” Lewis said (through MMA Junkie.) “And I heard that he had gotten me out and needed to battle me, so it was a genuine amazement to me, that he needed to pick the greatest person in the division, similar to the fattest person in the division.”
Lewis filled in a couple of more subtleties of the matchup toward the beginning of January.
“I’m speculating (Latifi required a battle with me) since I heard he’s preparation at American Top Team,” Lewis said in an ongoing meeting with “UFC Unfiltered.” “Those folks have been getting me out left and right. Pretty much everyone over yonder – Greg Hardy, him, Junior Dos Santos. What’s the other person’s name – the insane one that just battled? Colby … They got a hit out on me.”
“Indeed, even Shawn Jordan (was) over yonder, as well. They’ve been preparing for me for quite a long time – all their folks. Pretty much every person over yonder I’ve battled as of now. They have a feeling that they have the formula out on me.”
“They see me like the most fragile in the best five – an all the more simple battle for them,” Lewis included. “That is what I look like at it.”
This battle may be more significant for Lewis than it is for Latifi. On the off chance that Lewis, who is falling off a split choice success over Blagoy Ivanov, loses to Latifi, regardless of what the Swede tips the scales at, it will be seen that he lost to a man who was viewed as little for the light heavyweight division. That will be an overwhelming hit to Lewis’ expectations of getting back in the title picture. He totally can’t lose this matchup to the a lot littler man.
UFC 247 happens on Saturday, February 8, at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The principle card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-see, following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass.