UFC Fight Night 146 Results: Junior dos Santos TKOs Derrick Lewis in Main Event | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

WICHITA, KS - MARCH 09:  (L-R) Junior Dos Santos of Brazil punches Derrick Lewis in their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Intrust Bank Arena on March 9, 2019 in Wichita, Kansas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Junior dos Santos turned in an excellent display of striking to close out UFC Fight Night 146 with a second-round TKO win over Derrick Lewis in the heavyweight main event from Wichita, Kansas, on Saturday.

The first round was one that alternated between staring contests, nearly comical lunging kicks and intense exchanges. Both guys demonstrated their power early on, as JDS landed a massive overhand right, and The Black Beast responded with a right kick.

Too much power for one Octagon! #UFCWichita https://t.co/nnERjV7zpS

The fight-changing moment was a spinning back kick that took the wind out of Lewis, though. He spent much of the rest of the round doubled over. But when dos Santos tried to capitalize, he came back with massive counters.

MADNESS!

#UFCWichita https://t.co/mUO62WuWy5

That turned out to be just a survival tactic. In the second round, dos Santos went back to work with his power boxing, and Lewis folded under the pressure. Another right hand put Lewis on the defensive, and the former champion kept the pressure on until Herb Dean was forced to call an end to the fight.

Junior dos Santos leaves no doubt #UFCWichita https://t.co/BHn2aZE86M

The knockout puts dos Santos among the most prolific finishers in the division:

Junior Dos Santos ties Cain Velasquez and Derrick Lewis for most knockouts in UFC heavyweight history with 10. #UFCWichita

The win is the third in a row for dos Santos. Cigano has put away Lewis and Tai Tuivasa in his last two fights, proving that there are still few who can withstand his power in a pure striking matchup.

JDS used his post-fight interview to openly question his No. 8 ranking in the division:

Dos Santos: I want fights, UFC. Man, to tell you the truth, how can these guys be in front of me in the rankings? They put me back there, but that’s fine. I’m here to fight and regain my belt. #UFCWichita

The battle of the big men wasn’t the only action that transpired in Wichita. The night also saw the emergence of a welterweight title contender, a thrilling first round between Tim Means and Niko Price and a controversial return for Ben Rothwell.

Main card

Undercard

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Curtis Millender

In a battle of fast-rising welterweight prospects, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos took a big step toward a high-profile fight with a submission win over Curtis Millender.

The Brazilian made it seven wins in a row with a brilliant grappling performance. After a smooth reactive takedown of an aggressive Millender early, it was all dos Santos on the ground. It didn’t take him long to go from side control to mount, eventually taking the back and sinking in the rear-naked choke to draw the tap.

Welterweights, there’s a new player in the top-15!

@ElizeuCapoeira gets the first-round sub at #UFCWichita https://t.co/KIigXNcSu7

It not only increases dos Santos’ impressive win streak but also showcases another side of his skill set. It’s his first submission victory since 2014. Paired with his recent KO wins, he’s showcasing the kind of finishing instinct that could make him a marketable contender.

The time has definitely come for a top-10 opponent. He made no bones about calling out an even bigger opponent after the bout:

Elizeu Capoeira calls for a top 5 next, “or the belt, no problem. I just want to fight.”

Niko Price vs. Tim Means

Niko Price and Tim Means seemed bent on putting on an entertaining affair, and they didn’t disappoint.

From the opening bell, both hard-charging welterweights swung for the fences. Price got the better of the opening exchange before Means promptly dropped him with a slam in retaliation.

These guys are going AT IT from the opening bell!

#UFCWichita https://t.co/PIs0rAGoyc

But the fight wasn’t meant to take place on the ground for long. The two worked their way up to the feet and got back to trading blows. Just when it seemed like Means was getting the better of the exchanges, Price countered with a flush right hand that dropped his opponent and brought the fight to an end.

THE HYBRID!!!

@NikoHybridPrice lands a VICIOUS right hand and stops Means in round 1! #UFCWichita https://t.co/BUspq28Rlj

Price’s performance was one of the highlights of the night. Handing Means his first career knockout loss is a great way to get noticed and a big bounce back after a knockout loss to Abdul Razak Alhassan in September 2018.

Means fell to 1-3 in his last four fights with the loss.

Ben Rothwell vs. Blagoy Ivanov

Ben Rothwell and Blagoy Ivanov gave fans three minutes of lumbering heavyweights set on finishing one another. Neither was successful to that end, but they did provide plenty of fun exchanges in a decision win for Ivanov.

The rules of engagement were fairly simple. Rothwell played the role of aggressor, plodding forward with combinations and kicks while the former WSOF heavyweight champion countered with big strikes.

Ending the round with authority!

#UFCWichita https://t.co/bO0x5obGwr

In the end, the judges favored the damage of Ivanov’s strikes over the aggression shown by Rothwell.

It was a decision that sparked some controversy among Twitter analysts, but it was a close bout that was difficult to score.

Judges gave that fight to Blagoi Ivanov? https://t.co/AiYSdsPfcm

The decision gives Ivanov his first win since coming to the UFC. His first bout was against a former champion in Junior dos Santos, so the organization has certainly pushed him into fights against quality competition and will likely continue doing so.

Beneil Dariush vs. Drew Dober

The lightweight tilt between Beneil Dariush and Drew Dober was a tale of two distinctly different rounds.

The first five minutes were all Dober. He came out aggressively and looking to brawl. It was a successful strategy, as Dariush was clearly losing the exchanges:

Big shots landed for @DrewDober in round 1! #UFCWichita https://t.co/JncVQjyhOA

The second round took place in Dariush’s world, as he was able to drag the fight to the mat. Once there, he was able to transition to mount and threaten with submission after submission. Eventually, the traps were too much for Dober, as the Iranian locked onto a triangle armbar that Dober couldn’t shake.

Beneil Dariush hangs on to get the tap #UFCWichita https://t.co/ZWtZ5X0srJ

It was Dariush’s seventh submission win in his professional career, proving his mettle on the ground once again.

The loss stops some serious momentum for Dober, who brought a three-fight win streak into the bout.

Tim Boetsch vs. Omari Akhmedov

If his matchup with Omari Akhmedov is truly his last fight, Tim Boetsch went out with not a bang, but a whimper. The Barbarian struggled to put forth any offense at all against Akhmedov in a one-sided decision loss.

Akhmedov didn’t exactly put forth a dominant performance in a somewhat ho-hum affair. He did, however, manage to break Boetsch’s nose in the course of the action:

The straight right from @Omari_Akhmedov that broke Boetsch’s nose #UFCWichita https://t.co/nlN24QRVMK

The 38-year-old Boetsch has been fighting in the organization since 2008. While he threw good volume throughout the fight, he simply wasn’t able to make it competitive, and it’s clear his performance in the cage has seen a dip. He’s now 1-3 in his last four fights.

Boetsch has been public about the possibility of retirement, per Mike Bohn and John Morgan of MMAjunkie.

Akhmedov picks up his first win since returning to middleweight. He’s now 3-0-1 in his last four fights.

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