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MMA Weekend Recap: Lewis Takes Out Oleinik, Chandler UFC Bound?

As many sports around the world continue to return to normalcy, the MMA leader had yet another show featuring multiple finishes on Saturday.

The UFC wasn’t along this weekend though as Bellator and RIZIN both featured big shows over the weekend.

With multiple shows and multiple headlining performances, we take a look back at all things MMA from your weekend.

The Black Beast With Another KO and Another Memorable Quote

In the UFC main event Saturday night, Derrick Lewis returning looking a bit slimmer than usual and came out firing in the first round against long-time fight veteran and submission specialist Aleksei Oleinik.

Lewis played a risky game in the first round throwing Oleinik to the ground and looking for ground and pound. Oleinik would sweep the bigger Lewis and nearly apply a scarf hold, or as Lewis referred to it, a “British Bulldog.” Lewis would survive until the end of the first and go with a new game plan in the second round.

Lewis would come up throwing heavy leather in the second dropping Oleinik and then pouring down heavy punches leading to a stoppage at 21 seconds in the second round.

Lewis has now won three fights in a row and is set up for another likely headliner role next likely against either Alistair Overeem, Curtis Blaydes or possibly a rematch with Francis Ngannou. Before that, Lewis expressed interest in shedding some more weight before returning to the Octagon late this year.

Weidman Back In The Win Column, Wants Another Run at 185

It’s been a tough last four years for former Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman as he entered the Octagon on Saturday on a two-fight losing streak and overall, losing five of his last six being finished in each of those defeats.

It was a must-win situation for the “All-American.”

Weidman faced a tough opponent in Omari Akhmedov and while it wasn’t pretty, Weidman did what he needed to do to earn his first decision win since July 2014.

After using some heavy wrestling in the first round and being out-wrestled and outstruke in the second, Weidman entered the third round with everything on the line. Weidman would come out fast and put Akhmedov on his back, work to mount and spend the round working ground and pound and looking for an arm-triangle finish.

In the end, it was a 10-8 round on multiple scorecards and would lead to a much needed victory for Weidman in the night’s co-main event.

Chris said post-fight that he was happy to be back at middleweight and sent out a warning to the division saying, “All you top tier guys, I’m coming for you.” Some potential interesting match-ups for Weidman at middleweight division going forward.

Michael Chandler Makes Quick Work Of Ben Henderson, Officially a Free Agent

Long-time Bellator standout Michael Chandler is one of the best fighters in the world to never step foot in the UFC Octagon as a competitor, but did make it 2-0 against former UFC Champion Benson Henderson on Friday night.

After a split decision win over Henderson back in November 2016, Chandler would make a much more definitive statement this time around knocking out Henderson in a little over two minutes in the Bellator headliner.

With the win, Chandler hits the open market as one of the hottest free agents in recent memory. Chandler has an overall record of 21-5, has won five of his last six and is a three-time Bellator Lightweight Champion.

At this point, it’s hard to think there’s anything left to accomplish in Bellator and Chandler has made it well known he wants to prove he can compete with the best lightweights in the UFC and even threw in a jab at former Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor saying, “I finish Conor in under two [rounds]. I wear him down a little bit, make him see Jesus, put him out.”

While Chandler likely jump right into a fight with McGregor, there are some fantastic fights for him in the UFC including Paul Felder, Tony Ferguson and/or Dustin Poirier. Of course, Chandler could decided to stick around as the face of Bellator and make some top tier cash or possibly make a deal where he could fight for both Bellator and RIZIN. Chandler said post-fight about the future, “my phone is on.”

Quick Results

UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Oleinik (8/8/20 – Las Vegas, Nevada)
– Derrick Lewis (24-7, 1 NC) defeated Aleksei Oleinik (59-14-1) via KO (punches) – 2nd Round, 0:21
– Chris Weidman (15-5) defeated Omari Akhmedov (20-5-1) via unanimous decision
– Darren Stewart (12-5, 1 NC) defeated Maki Pitolo via Submission (guillotine) – 1st Round, 3:41
– Yana Kunitskaya (13-5, 1 NC) defeated Julija Stoliarenko (9-5-1) via unanimous decision
– Beneil Dariush (19-4-1) defeated Scott Holtzman (14-4) via KO (spinning forearm) – 1st Round, 4:38
– Tim Means (30-12-1, 1 NC) defeated Laureano Staropoli (9-3) via unanimous decision
– Kevin Holland (18-5) defeated Joaquin Buckley (10-3) via TKO (punches) – 3rd Round, 0:32
– Nasrat Haqparast (12-3) defeated Alex Munoz (6-1) via unanimous decision
– Andrew Sanchez (13-5) defeated Wellington Turman (16-4) via KO (punch) – 1st Round, 4:14
– Gavin Tucker (12-1) defeated Justin Jaynes (16-5) via Submission (rear-naked choke) – 3rd Round, 1:43
– Youssef Zalal (10-2) defeated Peter Barrett (11-4) via unanimous decision
– Irwin Rivera (10-5) defeated Ali Alqaisi (8-4) via split decision

Bellator 243 (8/7/20 – Uncasville, Connecticut)
– Michael Chandler defeated Benson Henderson via TKO (strikes) – 1st Round, 2:09
– Timothy Johnson defeated Matt Mitrione via TKO (strikes) – 1st Round, 3:14
– Myles Jury defeated Georgi Karakhanyan via split decision
– Sabah Homasi defeated Curtis Millender via unanimous decision
– Adam Borics defeated Mike Hamel via split decision
– Chris Lencioni defeated A.J. Agazarm via unanimous decision
– Valerie Loureda defeated Tara Graff via KO (punch) – 2nd Round, 5:00
– Grant Neal defeated Hamza Salim via unanimous decision
– Charlie Campbell defeated Nainoa Dung via TKO (leg kicks) – 2nd Round, 1:42
– Dalton Rosta defeated Mark Gardner via TKO (doctor stoppage) – 1st Round, 5:00

RIZIN FF 22 (8/9/20 – Yokohama, Japan)
– Roberto de Souza defeated Yusuke Yachi via TKO (punches) – 1st Round, 1:52
– Ayaka Hamasaki defeated Tomo Maesawa via Submission (armbar) – 2nd Round, 1:14
– Kanna Asakura defeated Mizuki Furusa via TKO (punches) – 1st Round, 1:35
– Naoki Inoue defeated Shooto Watanabe via Submission (rear-naked choke) – 1st Round, 1:40
– Tetsuya Seki defeated Kouya Kanda via KO (punch) – 2nd Round, 3:47
– Kyohei Hagiwara defeated Rikuto Shirakawa via TKO (punches) – 3rd Round, 4:40
– Kenji Kato defeated Erson Yamamoto via Knockout (punch) – 1st Round, 3:32

UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Oleinik Staff Picks and Predictions

When it comes to the heavyweight division, many are already chomping at the bit to get to the trilogy title fight next weekend between DC and Miocic.

But, first, we get another wild heavyweight main event this weekend between “The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis and submission specalist Aleksei Oleinik.

This card is flying under the radar, but we have the Baseline MMA staff locked in with their picks for the upcoming event from The APEX in Las Vegas.

Derrick Lewis (23-7, 1 NC) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (53-13-1)

TJ Lobello: Either way, this fight ends early. But, I’ll lean towards Lewis landing the knock out blow early in the first. Lewis by 1st Round KO

Josh Thomas: Oleinik can outgrapple the greater portion of the UFC roster, but when you look at his most recent losses, they’re all on the feet. Lewis enters this fight on a two-fight winning streak and I think he holds on to that and makes it three. I give him the edge based on his power. Lewis by 1st Round TKO

Gabe Lewis: Let’s keep it simple: if it’s a slugfest, Lewis wins in the first. The longer the fights drags out, the more likely an Oleinik submission becomes. Oleinik is a veteran and is battle tested and Lewis is susceptible to takedowns, but I’ll bet on Lewis to get it done on Saturday. Lewis by 1st Round TKO

Cody Guinn: This fight has potential to be over quick or drag on for nearly the entire twenty-five minutes. Lewis must keep this fight standing or he’ll be in trouble in any round. With that said, Oleinik’s recent losses to power punchers lead me to side with Lewis by an early finish. Lewis by 1st Round TKO

Omari Akhmedov (20-4-1) vs. Chris Weidman (14-5)

TJ: Weidman is a former champion and needs a big win. I see him entering this fight motivated and earning a nice return win. Weidman by Decision

Josh: Weidman is in a tough spot as he’s been stopped in five of his last six bouts. Weidman is a black belt and very competent grappler will give him the edge against Akhmedov. The former champ is a big step up in competition for Omari. Weidman by Decision

Gabe: I truly think Weidman’s best days are behind him, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get the job done. Chris will look to get this on the ground and keep it there, but Akhmedov is on a five-fight winning streak and will look to make his name off of Chris’. Weidman experimented at light heavyweight, but the power of Dominick Reyes made him reconsider and Chris now returns to his comfort zone at 185, but regardless, Weidman has struggled losing five of his last six. Akhmedov by Decision

Cody: Weidman can’t afford another loss right now, but the UFC isn’t doing him any favors against a hard-hitting, physically strong opponent like Omari Akhmedov. Akhmedov can really put himself on the map with a win or finish of Chris, but Weidman needs this win more than any other fighter needs a win currently in the UFC. Weidman by Decision

Maki Pitolo (13-5) vs. Darren Stewart (11-5, 1 NC)

TJ: Another closely matched fight between two guys looking to break out of the pact at middleweight. I’m inclined to run with Maki in a close fight. Pitolo by Decision

Josh: Pitolo has one of the best names in the UFC and one of the best nicknames “Coconut Bombz.” I think he gets it done against Stewart as Maki is more refined and his counter striking will be his way to victory. Pitolo by 2nd Round TKO

Gabe: A toss-up fight between two talented strikers. I’ll award Stewart with the slight power advantage as he knocks out opponents at a 64% clip while Pitolo is at 54%. I’ll side with Stewart in a close one. Stewart by Decision

Cody: An underrated fight to make a run at Fight of the Night, Pitolo is sharp with solid boxing and some devastating ground and pound. Darren Stewart has fought some hard-nosed middleweights since joining the UFC in 2016. This fight will be close, but I’m giving a slight edge to Pitolo. Pitolo by Decision

Yana Kunitskaya (12-5, 1 NC) vs. Julija Stoliarenko (9-4-1)

TJ: Stoliarenko is jumping in on short notice against an underrated women’s bantamweight. I’m going with Kunitskaya all the way. Kunitskaya by Decision

Josh: Even coming off a loss, I still like Kunitskaya in this fight and in this division. Yana has good takedown defense and I truly believe she’ll keep this fight on the feet. I’m confident with her training background out of Jackson-Wink, she’ll have the advantage and earn the decision. Kunitskaya by Decision

Gabe: Coming off a 3rd round loss to Aspen Ladd last year, Kunitskaya is determined to get back in the win column against a submission specialist. Both fighters are well versed on the ground, but on the feet, I give the advantage to Kunitskaya has she has the better striking and can finish her as the fight prolongs. Kunitskaya by 3rd Round TKO

Cody: Yana has only loss to top tier 135ers and 145ers including Aspen Ladd, Cris Cyborg and split a series with Tonya Evinger in Invicta. With that said, Stoliarenko is no slouch as a former Invicta champion and has finished eight of her nine wins with an armbar. As long as Kunitskaya can avoid that, she should earn a nice win. Kunitskaya by Decision

Beneil Dariush (18-4-1) vs. Scott Holtzman (14-3)

TJ: Two up and coming lightweights who can put on a show to kick-off the main card. I’ll go with Dariush to earn a nice win. Dariush by Decision

Josh: This could be Fight of the Night to kick-off the main card. Based on pure experience, Dariush edges it out in my book. I also like Dariush on the ground as he is more proficient overall. Dariush by Decision

Gabe: This fight has decision written all over it, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be exciting! I’m leading towards Dariush to get the finish based off performances against the likes of Michael Johnson and James Vick. Dariush by 2nd Round Submission

Cody: Two tough fighters who aren’t scared to trade right inside the pocket. This fight may come down to who has the better chin or who can mix it up the best maybe sneaking in a takedown or using more angles and movement. Dariush just recently landed in the UFC’s top fifteen rankings, but I think Holtzman will find a way to win. Holtzman by 2nd Round TKO

Cody Quick Prelim Picks
Laureano Staropoli over Tim Means
Kevin Holland over Joaquin Buckley
Alex Munoz over Nasrat Haqparast
Wellingotn Turman over Andrew Sanchez
Gavin Tucker over Justin Jaynes
Youssef Zalal over Peter Barrett
Al Alqaisi over Irwin Rivera

Join us next week on the Baseline MMA Podcast to recap UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Oleinik and see how we did with our picks!