UFC 226: Derrick Lewis defeats Francis Ngannou in a horrible excuse of a heavyweight fight

Kevin Iole
Combat columnist
Francis Ngannou, right, fights Derrick Lewis during a heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 226, Saturday, July 7, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP)

LAS VEGAS – The fans were the star of the show Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 226, rightly booing heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou for a terrible fight with no action.

Boos filled the T-Mobile Arena, fans held up the flashlights on their phones to protest the lack of action and then began to chant, “Fight! Fight! Fight!” to urge them to engage.

In a fight that was expected to end quickly and violently with two of the sport’s biggest men and best punchers locked in a cage together, Lewis won a unanimous decision in a desultory affair that saw next-to-no punches of consequence landed by either man. Judges had it 29-28 twice and 30-27 for Lewis. Yahoo Sports had it 30-27 for Lewis, not because Lewis did anything but because Ngannou did nothing.

In the second round, referee Herb Dean called time and brought the men together. He told them to fight in a stern manner, but it had no impact.

Lewis fired off some kicks, but Ngannou was horrendous, simply following Lewis around the cage and doing nothing. They combined for just 33 strikes landed in a fight that carried extraordinarily large expectations but was one of the major duds in UFC history.

There were no takedowns, no submission attempts and no punches of meaning landed, with few thrown.

It was an embarrassment and the crowd let the fighters know of their displeasure. Rarely has the booing been as sustained and as loud in UFC history as it was during that stinker of a fight.

The fight was so bad that the UFC made the decision not to send Joe Rogan into the ring to interview the winner.

Both men left the cage and walked to their dressing rooms with scowls, but it would have been nice had they done that in the fight.

The winner at least had to be considered in the running for the next shot at the heavyweight title, but there is next-to-no way UFC president Dana White will give a championship fight based on that match.

It’s going to take a lot of exciting bouts from the two fighters to forget that horrible excuse of a fight.

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