Derrick Lewis found himself in trouble on the ground in Round 2 of his UFC 244 fight with Blagoy Ivanov. Ivanov had a kimura locked in and Lewis’ arm looked like it was reaching the breaking point when “The Black Beast” flashed a thumbs up. Ivanov torqued Lewis’ arm, but couldn’t get the submission. That moment ultimately sealed Ivanov’s fate as he came up short on the scorecards, losing a split decision at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Lewis (22-7) landed several trademark bombs throughout the fight, at times Ivanov (18-3) seemed to be doing little more than surviving as Lewis unloaded. Ivanov stayed with it, though, using wrestling and his own powerful punches to fight back. The submission attempt in Round 2 was as close as either fighter got to scoring a finish and marked a big moment for the Bulgarian.
Despite a brutal flurry of shots from Lewis to close Round 3, the close fight ended up in the hands of the judges, where Lewis was awarded the win by scores of 30-27, 28-29, 29-28. Lewis snapped a two-fight losing skid while Ivanov had his two-fight winning streak halted.