Yogi Bear looks to extend winning run

mma06 May 2024 09:00
article image

Rodrigo Nascimento will look to extend his winning run in the UFC when he faces Derrick Lewis in the heavyweight main event of a Fight Night set for the Enterprise Centre in St. Louis, Missouri, on the morning of Sunday 12 May 2024.

Nascimento (11-1, 1 NC) has racked up three straight wins from September 2022 to November 2023, defeating Tanner Boser, Ilir Latifi and Don’Tale Mayes (all by decision after three full rounds) to rise to number 15 in the division rankings.

The 31-year-old "Yogi Bear" has recovered well from a six-month ban he received in 2021 for testing positive for ritalinic acid, and is sanguine about his career path.

“I learned a lot about staying focused,” Nascimento explained. “That’s how life is—highs and lows all the time. I’ll show that I’m a different kind of fighter. I’ve had highs and lows, but that’s OK. I’ve learned a lot.”

Lewis (27-12, 1 NC) has suffered four losses from his last five trips to the Octagon, most recently going down by decision to Jailton Almeida in November last year.

"The Black Beast", who has twice unsuccessfully fought for the heavyweight championship, is number 12 in the division rankings, but believes a greater focus on conditioning has improved his prospects of rising up the ladder.


“Just being unpredictable... you never know what I’m going to do,” Lewis said of his approach. “In the first round, as soon as the bell rings, you never know what I’m going to come out and do.

“There is stuff I’ve been wanting to do for years inside the Octagon that I didn’t have the cardio to do it, but I finally believe I’ve got a little more cardio and I can really achieve these things now.”

The rest of the main card features Joaquin Buckley v Nursulton Ruziboev in the welterweight division; a light heavyweight clash between Alonzo Menifield and Carlos Ulberg; Carlos Ferreira takes on Mateusz Rebecki in the lightweight division; a featherweight fight pits Alex Caceres against Sean Woodson; and the heavyweight opener is Waldo Cortes-Acosta v Robelis Despaigne.

UFC Fight Night: Lewis v Nascimento – Main card

- Main event: Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis v Rodrigo Nascimento

- Welterweight: Joaquin Buckley v Nursulton Ruziboev

- Light heavyweight: Alonzo Menifield v Carlos Ulberg

- Lightweight: Carlos Ferreira v Mateusz Rebecki

- Featherweight: Alex Caceres v Sean Woodson

- Heavyweight: Waldo Cortes-Acosta v Robelis Despaigne