This Friday the UFC invades New York for the second time in less than a month for UFC Fight Night 102. In the main event Derrick Lewis (16-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) faces off against Shamil Abdurakhimov (17-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) in a Heavyweight showdown.
the UFC Fight Night 102 card will be streamed on Fight Pass and takes place at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York. A win here gives the victor the opportunity to climb up the 265lb rankings and in Lewis’s case, possibly a step closer to top 10 ranking status.
“The Black Beast” enters the cage riding a four-fight win streak which includes notches over Roy Nelson and Gabriel Gonzaga and will be looking to make it a perfect 4-0 calendar year when he goes toe to toe with the Russian this Friday. The 31-year-old last stepped foot in the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 90 on July 7 where he secured a split decision victory over Nelson. Despite compiling a record of 3-2 in his first five fights in the organisation with losses to Matt Mitrione and Shawn Jordan, Lewis now looks to be in the form of his career finishing three of his last four opponents via strikes. Although he may be a while off a title shot a win here could definitely see him enter the top 10 rankings of the Heavyweight division.
Dagestani fighter Abdurakhimov’s debut in the UFC was nothing to be remembered after he suffered a knockout defeat at the hands of Timothy Johnson back in April 2015 but will now be looking to make it three wins on the bounce whilst securing his third win in the UFC. The 35-year-old holds an impressive record with 11 of his 17 career victories coming by way of knockout, technical knockout or submission however the Russian has been unable to finish an opponent since 2012.
Lewis has recently admitted he was hoping for a bigger name to help him in his quest for title contention but will be taking his opponent very seriously. Both men hold a lot of skills and power and will both be looking to showcase these come Friday night.