One of the most popular fighters in the heavyweight division has a chance to get closer to another title shot.
Derrick Lewis meets Aleksei Oleinik in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas in a battle of two streaking contenders. The bout will take place at the UFC Apex with no fans in attendance, and will air on ESPN+.
Lewis (23-7, 1 NC) has won two straight and five of his past seven fights. The Houston resident lost to Daniel Cormier in a heavyweight title fight at UFC 230 in November 2018 at Madison Square Garden, but has worked his way back into the title picture. Lewis, 35, is ranked No. 6 among MMA heavyweights by ESPN. He is tied with two others — Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos — for the most knockouts in UFC heavyweight history (10).
Oleinik (59-13-1) has won two in a row and four of his past six. The Ukraine native, who lives and trains in Florida, is coming off a split-decision victory over former champion Fabricio Werdum at UFC 249 in March. Oleinik, 43, is a submission master with 46 submission finishes in his 59 career wins. He is also one of the most seasoned veterans in the game. Earlier this year, Oleinik became the first UFC fighter to compete in MMA — and win — in four different decades.
In the co-main event Saturday, former middleweight champion Chris Weidman faces a must-win scenario against Omari Akhmedov. Weidman (14-5) has won just once in his past six fights. Akhmedov (20-4-1), meanwhile, is surging. The Dagestan native is unbeaten in the past six.
Also on the card, Beneil Dariush meets Scott Holtzman in a catchweight bout (following Dariush missing the lightweight limit Friday), all-action middleweights Darren Stewart and Maki Pitolo face off, and Yana Kunitskaya meets Julija Stoliarenko in a women’s bantamweight battle.
Marc Raimondi, Brett Okamoto and Jeff Wagenheim recap the action as it takes place in Las Vegas.
Fight in progress:
Still to come
Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis (23-7, 1 NC; 14-5 UFC, -200) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (59-13-1, 8-4 UFC, +175)
Middleweight: Chris Weidman (14-5, 9-5 UFC, -135) vs. Omari Akhmedov (20-4-1, 8-3-1 UFC, +115)
Middleweight: Darren Stewart (11-5, 3-1 UFC, -155) vs. Maki Pitolo (13-5, 1-1 UFC, +135)
Women’s bantamweight: Yana Kunitskaya (12-5, 2-2 UFC, -230) vs. Julija Stoliarenko (9-4-1, 0-1 UFC, +190)
Lightweight: Beneil Dariush (18-4-1, 12-4-1 UFC, -185) vs. Scott Holtzman (14-3, 7-3 UFC, +165)
Welterweight: Tim Means (29-12-1, 11-9-1 UFC, +120) vs. Laureano Staropoli (9-2, 2-1 UFC, -140)
Middleweight: Kevin Holland (17-5, 4-2 UFC, -450) vs. Joaquin Buckley (10-2, 0-0 UFC, +360)
Lightweight: Nasrat Haqparast (11-3, 3-2 UFC, -230) vs. Alex Munoz (6-0, 0-0 UFC, +190)
Middleweight: Andrew Sanchez (12-5, 4-3 UFC, +140) vs. Wellington Turman (16-3, 1-1 UFC, -160)
Men’s featherweight: Gavin Tucker (11-1, 2-1 UFC, -125) vs. Justin Jaynes (16-4, 1-0 UFC, +105)
Men’s featherweight: Youssef Zalal (9-2, 2-0 UFC, -450) vs. Peter Barrett (11-3, 0-0 UFC, +360)