UFC 271: Derrick Lewis vs. Tai Tuivasa Picks and Predictions

UFC 271: Derrick Lewis vs. Tai Tuivasa Picks and Predictions Photo by Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tai Tuivasa vs. Derrick Lewis

UFC: Saturday, February 12th at 10:00 PM ET

The Line: -- Tai Tuivasa +140 / Derrick Lewis -180 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa face off on Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 271 in a heavyweight showdown at the Toyota Center in Houston Texas. Lewis is currently the third-ranked heavyweight fighter while Tuivasa is ranked 11th. 

Derrick “The Black Beast' 'Lewis comes into this fight with a 26-8 record and he has won five of his last six fights. Lewis's last fight came against a hot Chris Daukaus in December of 2021 and it was in the first round that he finished it by knockout. Each of his last three wins have been by knockout. Lewis is averaging 2.52 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.48 significant strikes per minute. Lewis is averaging 0.48 takedowns every 15 minutes but he is only successful on 25 percent of his takedown attempts. Lewis does stop 55 percent of his opponents takedown attempts. Lewis is from Houston so he will have the crowd behind him. This is also only a three round fight, and Lewis has made it clear many times that is what he would rather have. 

On the other side of this fight is Tai Tuivasa who sits with a 14-3 record overall and he has won four fights in a row. His last fight came against Augusto Sakai in December and it was early in the second round that he finished that fight by knockout. Each of his last four fights has been by knockout. Tuivasa is averaging 4.63 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 3.51 significant strikes per minute. Tuivasa wants to keep the fight on his feet and I don’t see him trying to get this fight to the ground. Tuivasa also stops 50 percent of his opponents takedown attempts. Tuivasa has power in his hands but he can’t get gassed too early and put everything into a finish and leave himself exposed. If he does that, Tuivasa could find himself knocked out. 

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Tuivasa might be a fan favorite, and a good fighter, but this is a big step up in competition, something he isn’t ready for. Lewis is the more experienced fighter, and he is going to get Tuivasa in a bad position. Lewis is going to use the home crowd to his advantage too, and he is going to get the job done. I am not sure Lewis gets the knockout, but he will win the fight on the money line. 

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Shane’s Pick Derrick Lewis -180

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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