Kicking off the UFC 247 main card is a heavyweight bout between Houston’s own Derrick Lewis and Ilir Latifi.
Round 1: The pair maintain their distance with very little activity in the opening 40 seconds. Lewis misses an overhand right but has Latifi clinched up against the fence. Latifi punches his way out and says his eye was poked but the referee is having none of it. Lewis connects with a flying knee but Latifi eats it and counters by having Lewis against the fence. Latifi goes for the single leg but Lewis shows great balance to stay on his feet. After they remained clinched up, the referee separates them. Lewis lands a head kick but Latifi eats it again. Lewis throws another one which is blocked and attempts a flurry. Latifi counters by clinching him against the fence again. He attempts another takedown but it’s stuffed. Lewis separates and lands a knee to Latifi’s stomach. Latifi again clinches him to the fence as the round comes to an end.
Round 2: The two trade leg kicks with Latifi going for them more. Lewis goes for flying knee to the midsection but Latifi anticipates it and counters him by clinching him against the fence. He attempts another takedown but Lewis once again denies him. Lewis lands a knee and attempts a strike. However, Latifi manages to trip Lewis and is on top. He’s not done a lot as the referee warns him. Latifi proceeds to land some strikes to Lewis’ body but doesn’t seem to be making an effort to pass. The referee stands them up. Lewis misses a right hook. Latifi blocks another head kick but manages to trip Lewis again. He ends the round with some hard right hands on Lewis’ head.
Round 3: Lewis misses an overhand right. He partially lands another one. Lewis attempts another flying knee but Latifi controls him again. He lifts him up and lands a big takedown. He lands some strikes but doesn’t seem interested in advancing to full mount from half-guard. Lewis gets up but Latifi has his back but eventually lets go. Lewis goes super aggressive with another flying knee. Latifi gets double underhooks and looks to get another takedown. Lewis is doing well to defend this time but Latifi is still on him. Latifi takes him down but Lewis gets up right away. Lewis attempts a head kick and is unloading but Latifi clinches up again. Lewis lands some elbows and gets free. He’s looking for the finish on a tired Latifi. Latifi survives in the end.
Official result: Derrick Lewis defeats Ilir Latifi via unanimous decision (29-28).