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UFC 229 live blog: Derrick Lewis vs. Alexander Volkov

Derrick Lewis faces off with Alexander Volkov ahead of their heavyweight bout at UFC 229 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS – This is the UFC 229 live blog for Derrick Lewis vs. Alexander Volkov, a heavyweight bout at Saturday’s UFC event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Lewis, who has won eight of his last nine including back-to-back wins over Francis Ngannou and Marcin Tybura, faces Volkov, a former Bellator champion who is 4-0 since joining the UFC, on the main card.

Check out the UFC 229 live blog below.

Round 1: Alright, this thing doesn’t seem destined to get out of the first round. We’ll see. The referee is Herbert Dean. Volkov a tower of a man; Lewis a bull. No touch of gloves. Push kick from Volkov, and Lewis slowly holds his ground. A little leg kick, and then a massive swing of Lewis’s right misses. Felt the air stir on that one. A switch kick from Lewis, and the crowd falls in love with that. Now Volkov lands a huge kick, and goes on the offensive. He looks to have Lewis hurt, but Lewis fires back. Same thing, he hurts Lewis and goes in again and can’t finish! Crazy action, as it looks like Lewis got poked in the eye. Now Volkov voluntarily moves away, rather than punish him before Dean can break them. They are back at it. Left hand from Volkov, who now stalks forward. More kicks, and Lewis is target practice for far for those. A very strange takedown attempt, and Lewis — body contorted — is easily brushed back, and then pushed down by the Russian. They get back up those, and now Volkov trips him down — and it’s a loud thud. Right into side control for Volkov. Short elbows from there to Lewis’s head. Now right into the heart of his belly. Lewis scrambles up, and Volkov snaps up his back, and rolls over. He has Lewis’s back, and he’s not letting go. As Lewis rolls to his knees, he slips off — and now Lewis on top landing elbows from top! Now big shots! Crowd alive and on its feet! Lewis turned the tables late. That round ended up being close, but still Volkov’s (I think). MMA Fighting scores R1 for Volkov, 10-9

Round 2: Crowd loving themselves some Derrick Lewis, who slowly emerges from his ccorner, and right away he gets clipped with a series of big shots on the fence. He was hurt again, covering up — but somehow he’s still in it. Lewis is a master of perseverance. He’s gasping for some air, though, and Volkov is steadying that jab. He lands a couple, and then now a high kick. Sniper action, picking him apart. Lewis with a hell of a chin, and he eats another one as they clinch on fence. Now Volkov is pushed to the ground, but Lewis can’t get there quick enough to capitalize. Another offensive from Volkov, and Lewis returns fight — bit bazooka fire, that nearly sends the Russian on his ass. Instead, Volkov stalks forward, and Lewis slowly regroups. Left jab from the Russian, and another kick to the body. Action slowing down as both men trudge across the cage. Big combo from Volkov, and Lewis with a smart reprimand of a right. Good exchange. They collide like slabs in the middle, and Volkov pushes him off. Lewis looks exhausted late in second. Volkov loses mouthpiece, and Dean gives it back to him. That’s the round. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Volkov, 10-9 (20-18 overall)

Round 3: Crowd appreciates the effort thus far and lets the fighters know. Volkov to center, and he comes in high with a buzzing kick. Lewis flinched out of the way. Another really awkward takedown attempt from Lewis, who tries to backhand Volkov’s calf. He ends up on the ground, but Volkov doesn’t want to join him — so we’re back to standing. Volkov moves forward, trying to track Lewsis down, and he lands a series of punches against the turtling Lewis, but once again, the Black Beast doesn’t go down. Now same thing. Lewis absorbs several shots, and looks hurt, but is just letting the trouble pass. Lewis lives on the edge of his seat, and you think he’s out of it...then he throws something big. Those are few are far between right now, as Volkov lands a solid leg kick. Volkov with the jab again, something that’s been very effective for him. Lewis might need to pull some magic, now, as we get to 90 seconds left. He winds up and throws a series of lunging shots that gets the crowd riled up, but nothing lands clean. He’s trying though. Still there. Inside of a minute. Leg kick from Volkov, who is happy to slow the action. A big right hand lands! Right through his chin! And down goes Volkov in a heap. Lewis on top hammering away! Big shot, big shot...and he does it! Dean stops the fight, as Volkov is supine on his back, no longer defending. Crowd is deafening here in Vegas. Wow!

Official result: Derrick Lewis def. Alexander Volkov via TKO (punches) at 4:49 of R3

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