Rodrigo Nascimento: I Only Need One Takedown to Finish Derrick Lewis

UFC
May 10, 2024
Rodrigo Nascimento has no intentions of stalling the fight by simply maintaining top position against Derrick Lewis in their upcoming showdown.

Nascimento (11-1) will face a step up in competition when he takes on Derrick Lewis (27-12) in the main event at UFC St. Louis on May 11. While Lewis is known for his highlight reel knockouts, Nascimento is not underestimating his opponent’s well-roundedness going into his first Ultimate Fighting Championship headliner.

“So I think he’s an unpredictable fighter right… He’s super dangerous, you know, he has heavy hands but he’s a complete fighter,” the Brazilian said during UFC St. Louis media day. “I know this, I watch his fights; he knows how to put someone down. He can strike, he can fake. He’s a complete fighter for sure.”

Lewis is coming off a lopsided unanimous decision loss against Jailton Almeida in November 2023, where “Malhadinho” mostly controlled him on the ground without scoring much damage. While Almeida might have exposed the safest roadmap to beating the feared KO artist, Nascimento doesn’t plan on following that blueprint. “Yogi Bear” believes he can do more damage on the ground and exert better control -- being heavier than Almeida -- who was formerly a light heavyweight.

“Yeah, for sure he’s good at [getting randomly back to his feet] but I’m not Jailton [Almeida],” The 31-year-old said. “I have more weight and more ground control for sure, and I have good ground-and- pound. And if I put him down one time, it’s just one time I need to finish this fight.”

Lewis is known for his entertaining post-fight antics, like taking off his shorts or throwing his cup into the crowd. However, Nascimento doesn’t plan to replicate anything similar if gets past Lewis.

“This is his business you know. He’s a super funny guy but I’m not going to do this for sure. And throw my cup in the crowd, even worse, I’m not going to do these things for sure.”

While Nascimento has finished eight of his 11 career wins, his last three conquests have come via decisions. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak with a KO over Alan Baudot being overturned to a no-contest due to the Brazilian failing a drug test. Meanwhile, Lewis is 1-4 in his last five, with the solitary win coming against Marcos Rogerio de Lima via knockout at UFC 291 in July 2023.

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Rodrigo-Nascimento-I-Only-Need-One-Takedown-to-Finish-Derrick-Lewis-193633

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