A pair of heavyweights look to stake their claim to being among the elite in their division as Derrick Lewis and Travis Browne square off in Halifax for UFC Fight Night 105 on Sunday. Expect fireworks as Lewis and Browne have combined for 29 knockout victories in their careers.
The rest of the card will go largely unknown to casual fans but features plenty of finishers and some highly touted newcomers to the Octagon.
Derrick Lewis vs Travis Browne
There is no doubt about what Lewis wants to do when he enters the Octagon. ‘The Black Beast’ is in there to knock his opponent’s head off. Is it the most technical approach? No. But Lewis has been able to overcome those deficiencies with power and athleticism so far. His heavy hands have the ability to put almost anyone to sleep, except the brick wall that is Roy Nelson, and he will happily clinch up and work in close.
Lewis isn’t exactly an expert in takedown anything. He almost never shoots for a takedown and his defense isn’t exactly sterling. However, he is crafty on the ground and is hard to keep on the mat. For the love of God, don’t let Lewis get top control, as he will just tee off with his hammering strikes until it’s over.
Lewis is learning and you can see that he is getting more accustomed to picking his shots. However, he is basically a brawler. If an opponent can keep composed while his strikes are being launched, then they can pick Lewis apart.
Travis Browne is a very large individual, as he stands six-foot-seven with a 79-inch reach. ‘Hapa’ has plenty of KO power in all of his limbs, though he has begun to prefer to stick to boxing in his more recent fights (you can thank Coach Edmond for that). As mentioned above, Browne’s length is a big asset in terms of staying out of his opponent’s striking range, but it also leaves his lower half susceptible
When he wants to, Browne can be deadly in the clinch. If he can get a collar tie on his opponent, he can start throwing some vicious knees, but he usually just wants to get back into space. The Hawaiian’s takedown defense is solid, especially considering how open his legs usually are for his opponent, but he can get overwhelmed if his back is on the mat. On the chance Browne can get top control, he will just throw brutal bombs at his opponent.
Browne has all the gifts physically but still has a tendency to make rash decisions in the Octagon. This has caused him issues before, as getting overly aggressive has cost him more than once.
Other Notable Fights
Johny Hendricks (+120) may make his last walk to the Octagon when he takes on Hector Lombard (-150). Hendricks finds himself on the end of a three-fight losing streak and missed the 170 lbs limit in his last two before making the inevitable decision to move up to 185. ‘Bigg Rigg’ still has the offensive skills that made him a champion, as his combination of kickboxing, clinch work and wrestling are difficult for anyone to handle. However, weight cuts and defense have been his downfall. Obviously, moving up in weight should eliminate one of those. Hendricks has been outstruck in four of his past five fights and is much better off trying to get top control and laying down ground and pound. Lombard is still athletic and powerful despite his years of wear on the tires. It’s not really pretty, but every strike he throws has a terrifying amount of power. The former Olympian in judo has a fantastic clinch game, as his trips and throws are almost unstoppable when he really goes after them. The issue for Lombard is his cardio. The issue is getting worse as he ages and it’s clear that Lombard has the cardio to go about one round at a good pace and if he can’t get a breather he is in trouble.
Up-and-coming middleweights Elias Theodorou (EVEN) and Cezar Ferreira (-130) clash with the winner potentially squeaking into the rankings. ‘The Spartan’ likes to work a fast, active pace and break down his opponent over the course of the bout. Theodorou likes to grind his opponent along the cage and he is constantly working if he gets top position. Though not the most refined, Theodorou has the ability to win a fight in any facet based on aggression alone. He does have a tendency to spend his energy inefficiently and can gas out. Since moving back to middleweight, Ferreira has rattled off three consecutive wins. Most notably, he has started to fight smarter and use his length to protect a somewhat questionable chin. His kicks are absolutely brutal and he loves to throw them when he can get his distance. Ferreira is most comfortable on the ground and has a knack for locking in submissions.
Canadian Alessandro Ricci (+285) looks for his first UFC win when he takes on Paul Felder (-375) in a lightweight bout to open the main card. Ricci was a standout amateur Muay Thai fighter who has trained extensively in Thailand. This, of course, means that Ricci is excellent in the clinch with a great proficiency with his knees. Good wrestlers can beat Ricci, as they are able to grind him out along the fence, where Ricci is fine to fight from due to his clinch work. Felder is as tough as a two-dollar steak and exhibits excellent technical striking abilities. He has a second-degree black belt in taekwondo, as well as a black belt in karate. This gives “The Irish Dragon” plenty of kicks that opponents are rarely familiar with. Felder generally likes to move forward, but he does have the footwork to move laterally as well. Sometimes he can be inactive, as he looks for the perfect punch.
UFC Fight Night 105 – Lewis vs Browne Odds
Odds as of February 14 at Bovada
- Derrick Lewis -115
- Travis Browne -115
- Hector Lombard -150
- Johny Hendricks +120
- Gavin Tucker -165
- Sam Sicilia +135
- Elias Theodorou EVEN
- Cezar Ferreira -130
- Sara McMann -500
- Gina Mazany +350
- Paul Felder -375
- Alessandro Ricci +285
- Nordine Taleb +245
- Santiago Ponzinibbio -315
- Carla Esparza -285
- Randa Markos +225
- Aiemann Zahabi -225
- Reginaldo Vieira +175
- Thiago Santos -165
- Jack Marshman +135
- Gerald Meerschaert -305
- Ryan Janes +235