Derrick Lewis vs. Ilir Latifi In The Works For UFC 247
A heavyweight matchup between one-time title challenger, Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis, and division debutante, Ilir ‘The Sledgehammer’ Lafiti, is expected to land at UFC 247 on February 8th. in Houston, Texas.
The matchup will mark Swedish powerhouse Lafiti’s return to heavyweight for the first time since his second professional bout in 2008, while fan-favorite Lewis will look to regain a head of steam, after he picked up a close decision victory over former WSOF heavyweight best Blagoy Ivanov at UFC 244 recently. The news of the bout was first reported by ESPN staff writer, Brett Okamoto.
Lewis, who makes the short trip to Houston from Cypress, will attempt to further climb the division in search of a second title tilt, after his 2018 challenge against then division best, Daniel ‘DC’ Cormier.
The loss to the dominant wrestler Cormier, was followed by a knockout defeat at the hands of former heavyweight pack leader, Junior ‘Cigano’ dos Santos. Fending off a handful of submission attempts from the aforementioned Ivanov earlier this month, Lewis narrowly exited the Octagon at Madison Square Garden with a split decision.
The victory over Bulgaria’s Ivanov, adds to notable triumphs over the likes of Alexander Volkov, Travis Browne, Marcin Tybura, Roy Nelson and in a less than memorable matchup, the dangerous Francis Ngannou.
Malmo native Latifi, is approaching his seventh year with the promotion, having bested the likes of Gian Villante, Tyson Pedro and Ovince Saint Preux in a recent surge of the light heavyweight throne, but losses to Corey Anderson and a stoppage defeat to Volkan Oezdemir has forced the 36-year-old into light heavyweight limbo, and subsequently in February, a division higher.
Interestingly, Latifi made his professional mixed-martial-arts debut against the previously noted Ivanov, in a bout which was ruled a ‘No Contest’ after the ring collapsed.
UFC 247 is expected to take place on February 8th. in Houston, Texas, with a light heavyweight championship meeting between reigning division best, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones and undefeated threat, Dominick ‘The Devastator’ Reyes set to serve as the event headliner.