Due to circumstances beyond my control, I went (2-2) last week after two fights on the main card were canceled. My record stands at (22-16). I am confident it will remain above .500 after the end of tonight’s event at the APEX in Las Vegas.
On to the matters at hand — what could easily be the co-main event, starting the main card this evening, Beneil Dariush (18-4-1) squares off against Scott Holtzman (14-3) in a lightweight bout. Dariush is coming off a spectacular performance at UFC 248, knocking out Drakkar Klose in the 2nd-round. Holtzman, is never in a boring fight it must have something to do with his life long love of hockey. Dariush has a bigger toolbox, and that will be the difference tonight. Dariush via submission.
Next up, in the women’s bantamweight division, Yana Kunitskaya (12-5-0, 1NC) meets Julija Stoliarenko (9-4-1). Kunitskaya, ranked No. 8 in the division, is facing a tough challenge in her quest for another title shot. Stoliarenko won the vacant Invicta FC Bantamweight Championship in her last fight on March 6th. Eight of Stoliarenko’s nine victories coming by way of submission. Stoliarenko by armbar.
Moving to a scrap at middleweight, Maki Pitolo (13-5) takes on Darren Stewart (11-5-0, 1NC). Pitolo, aka ‘Coconut Bombz,’ is looking to make it two in a row for the promotion against, Stewart who is coming off a loss at Cage Warriors 113 in March. Pitolo by TKO.
In the co-main event, former middleweight champion Chris Weidman (14-5) fights, Omari Akhmedov (20-4-1). Nearly seven years have passed since Weidman shocked the world by knocking out Anderson Silva, an eternity in the fight game. Knocked out in his last two fights, hopefully, Weidman hangs it up after tonight. Akhmedov via TKO.
The main event is sure not to disappoint, nor do I believe it will go the distance. In a battle of heavyweight contenders, No. 4 ranked Derrick Lewis (23-7-0, 1NC) faces No. 10 ranked Aleksei Oleinik (59-13-1). After analyzing all available data, the question is, can Lewis knockout Oleinik before Oleinik can submit Lewis? Lewis by KO.