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UFC Vegas 65 Main Event Breakdown

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Before MMA’s top promotion, the UFC, takes a hiatus for the Thanksgiving holiday inside the United States, there’s still one more show on the promotion’s slate this month. On Saturday afternoon, the UFC Apex, just days removed from hosting the 2023 XFL Draft, gets back to the fights with UFC Vegas 65 and the UFC Vegas 65 main event.

Live coverage of Saturday’s card begins at 1 pm ET/ 10 am PT on ESPN+ with the prelims. Main card action follows at 4 pm ET/ 1 pm PT.

Heavyweights Do Battle in UFC Vegas 65 Main Event

All told, the show features a full slate of 12 fights, capped off by a heavyweight showdown in the UFC Vegas 65 main event. No. 7 contender Derrick Lewis (26-10, 1 NC MMA, 17-8 UFC) meets No. 12 contender Serghei Spivac (15-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC.)

As with all UFC main events, Saturday’s headliner will be an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the evening’s activities.

UFC Vegas 65 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds

Heading into the main event of the evening on Saturday in Las Vegas, it’s a close comparison. Both of these men stand level in height at 6-foot-3, so it’s in the reach advantage categories where Lewis and Spivac gain some separation.

Derrick Lewis owns a one-inch reach advantage (79 inches to 78 inches) over Serghei Spivac. In turn, Spivac owns a half-inch leg reach advantage (44 inches even to 43 1/2 inches) over Lewis.

As of Friday afternoon, the oddsmakers have Serghei Spivac installed as a -200 favorite, with Derrick Lewis operating as a +170 underdog. If you plan on placing a bet for this or any other fight taking place this weekend, please wager responsibly.

Derrick Lewis Fearful of Three-Fight Losing Streak

Derrick Lewis enters Saturday’s headliner having gone 2-3 in his last five fights, but he’s currently on a two-fight losing streak. Back on July 30, “The Black Beast” dropped a first-round knockout due to punches against Serghei Pavlovich (16-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) during UFC 277.

The prospect of dropping a third successive fight this coming weekend has been weighing heavily on Lewis’ mind. He made his feelings known about it earlier in the week during media availability.

“My back is really against the wall now,” Lewis told the press. “I don’t want to lose three fights in a row. Really, I don’t even want to lose one fight. I’ll take it hard on myself every time I lose a fight. You know, I don’t stop thinking about my last fight until I get a new fight. I’m just tired of thinking about my last fight being some BS, you know, the way it ended. I just want to come out here this week, give it all that I’ve got. I’m almost at the end of my career and I just don’t want to have no ‘would have, could have, should haves’.”

These are the words of a man who contemplated retirement just five short years ago after a knockout loss to Mark Hunt, yet he ultimately walked back on his promise.

For Derrick Lewis, what better place for a shot at redemption than the Apex? What better time than this weekend at the UFC Vegas 65 main event?

Tune in and find out whether or not he gets the redemption he craves.

Serghei Spivac Looking to Ride Winning Streak to Three in A Row

In the other corner, Serghei Spivac enters the main event having gone 4-1 in his last five fights. Currently, he’s on a two-fight winning streak.

Both wins have come inside the distance. Back in August, Spivac scored a second-round knockout (ground and pound shots) of Augusto Sakai (15-5-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC.)

During his media availability, he had kind words to say about Derrick Lewis.

“It doesn’t matter for me (who I have to) fight,” Spivac said through his translator. “Derrick is a very good fighter. He’s fought for the belt a few times already. He’s a strong guy and I’m prepared for that. It doesn’t matter for me who I’m going to fight, it’s just that now it’s Derrick Lewis and that’s who I’m going to fight.”

Will he be able to notch his third consecutive victory over the weekend?

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the UFC Vegas 65 main event looks to be a toss-up. Both Lewis and Spivac have been known to score the stoppage, but Derrick Lewis is a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

It’s a strength versus strength battle here. Who’s stronger?

Derrick Lewis Has One-Punch Power

If there’s one constant about heavyweight bouts in MMA, it’s that just a single punch can end the fight. Derrick Lewis subscribes to this constant, as he showed last December versus Christopher Daukaus.

Although the fight was scheduled for five rounds the week before Christmas, he needed less than one to shut things down. Daukaus bided his time, but Lewis was clearly the more efficient fighter, mixing up leg kicks with punches.

His fight IQ was on-point that night, as he waited for the right moment to land the big shot while keeping Daukaus honest with leg kicks. About three minutes into round one, Lewis scored with a roundhouse kick, setting up a barrage of punches against the cage fight to open up a cut on Daukaus.

Even though the latter fought back, the former was just too tough on the night, knocking Daukaus out and setting the UFC promotional record for most knockouts by a competitor (13). If Derrick Lewis is able to land punches in bunches, the UFC Vegas 65 main event will be his.

Serghei Spivac Can End The Fight Quickly, Too

In the other corner, just as Derrick Lewis has one-punch power, so does Serghei Spivac. His first fight of 2022 against Greg Hardy (in what would turn out to be the latter’s final promotional appearance in the UFC) is proof.

During the first round of a scheduled three, Hardy opened up with low kicks before the men exchanged feints with each other. Spivac took control of the fight by taking Hardy down with a hip toss.

From there, he wrestled with Hardy, controlling his wrist and eventually taking the latter’s back. Although Hardy returned to his feet, he just got taken right back down again, his second of the fight.

Spivac executed the back clinch before dumping Hardy a third time. A flurry of ground and pound shots ended the fight inside two and a half minutes.

If Serghei Spivac is able to take Derrick Lewis down, his ground game could tell the story here. Should Spivac land a burst of ground and pound shots, the fight will be over.

Final Thoughts

As with all heavyweight fights, you don’t want to look away from the screen when Lewis and Spivac are in the cage during the UFC Vegas 65 main event. You just might miss the knockout. Pay the pizza man before the fight starts.

Prediction: Derrick Lewis by First-Round TKO.

Which of these fighters tops your UFC Pound for Pound list?









Let us know your thoughts on UFC Vegas 65 in the comments below!

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about MMA since the spring of 2018. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew enjoys a good game and an even better fight. When he's not writing, you can find him playing video games and listening to music.

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