UFC history has been made as American mixed martial artist Derrick Lewis has capped off the year by setting the all-time knockout record with his victory over Chris Daukaus at UFC Vegas 45.
Lewis, who has “Knock Out King” tattooed across his chest, secured his 13th KO in the first round of his main event bout against Daukaus with a barrage of strong right hands.
Lewis celebrated his historic victory with a small dance, then threw his gloves and his athletic cup into the limited crowd at the UFC apex centre.
“One day that could be an NFT. Make some money off that shit,” Lewis said.
Although Lewis would like the opportunity to fight for a title, the Huston native is not excited by the idea of continuous five round bouts.
“Five rounds? Y’all fucking me up with that,” he said.
“I would love to get a title fight. If they could change that rule and make it three round title shot, hit me up, but if not, don’t call my phone.”
When asked about how he felt about his new record, Lewis was unfazed.
“It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t change anything. There’s still a lot of other guys who are active and are pretty good as well.”
Lewis said the plan for the fight was to make use of his wrestling, as he was inspired by co-main event winner Belal Muhammad’s impressive wrestling display against Stephen Thompson. Lewis would not get to execute his plan, as all 2 minutes and 35 seconds of his fight would remain a striking match.
At the post-fight press conference, Lewis dedicated his victory to Rodney King – an African American man who’s vicious beating at the hands of Los Angeles Police Department officers was recorded and released to the public in 1991, in one of the most notorious police brutality cases in American history.
“That was for Rodney King. I’m fighting a police officer. That’s the only way you get the chance to punch a police officer in the mouth and get away with it. That was a great feeling man.”
Daukaus was an officer for the Philadelphia Police Department for 11 years, until he resigned in the lead up to this fight to better focus on his MMA career.
UFC Vegas 45 saw another big heavyweight knockout as New Zealand-born Australian Justin Tafa scored a heavy head kick knockout over Harry Hunsucker in the first round of their prelim bout earlier in the night.
Tafa made history when he became the first UFC heavyweight to miss weight before a bout, tipping the scales at 267 pounds – one pound over the weight classes limit.
“I knew it was going to be a hard cut. I sauna’d for 11 or 12 hours just to get it and by the time I hit that last pound, I don’t think I could’ve fought if I continued,” Tafa said at the post-fight press conference.
“The goal in mind was to make history here. That wasn’t the way I wanted to.”
In the cage, Tafa called out Carlos Filipe for a possible rematch at UFC 271 in February next year. Filipe holds a decision victory over Tafa from the pair’s meeting in January of 2021.
Tafa is looking forward to spending Christmas at home with his family.
“I wanna make it home, buy my son the iPad he’s been dying for and sip on some rum.”
Tafa also announced his New Year’s resolution going into 2022 would be to make weight.
UFC Vegas 45 was the final UFC event of the year for the promotion and the start of a three week hiatus.