UFC Fight Night 218: Lewis vs. Spivac Preview & Best Bets


February 3

A top-15 heavyweight bout headlines UFC Fight Night 218 as No. 7 Derrick Lewis faces No. 12 Serghei Spivac.

  • Date: Saturday, February 4, 2023 | Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: UFC Apex – Enterprise, Nevada | TV: ESPN+
One More Try

This heavyweight bout between Marcin Tybura and Blagoy Ivanov was once scheduled to take place in March of 2021, but the fight was canceled due to Ivanov suffering an injury. Both fighters went their separate ways and will now find themselves across the cage from each other.

Tybura has won six of his previous seven bouts, beating Alexander Romanov, Walt Harris, Greg Hardy, Ben Rothwell, Maxim Grishin, and one-half of the main event Serghei Spivac. Meanwhile, Ivanov is 3-3 in the UFC, taking out Marcos Rogerio de Lima, Tai Tuivasa, and Rothwell. He’s lost two of his last three, but both were by split decision.

Tybura will be the larger fighter, standing four inches taller and enjoying a five-inch reach advantage. Neither fighter has much knockout power for a heavyweight, with Tybura averaging 0.07 knockdowns per 15 minutes and Ivanov averaging 0.15.

The Pole is slightly more active on the feet, landing 3.61 significant strikes per minute to the Bulgarian’s 3.44. Ivanov also absorbs 0.83 more significant strikes per minute. Ivanov will look to make this a grueling fight while both enjoy 79 and 77 percent takedown defense rates.

This bout will be a grind right until the final bell. Expect it to go the distance at -190.

Sseda and the Brown Bear

Da-Un Jung vs. Devin Clark is a significant mismatch. Jung is 14-1-1 over his previous 16 fights, going 4-1-1 in the UFC. Jung’s last fight was a first-round knockout loss to Dustin Jacoby in July 2022. However, he’s a finisher, with 13 of his 15 wins by knockout or submission. Clark will probably be cut from the UFC with a loss, losing three of his last four.

Jung is four inches taller and has a 3.5-inch reach advantage. Jung gets 73 percent of his wins by knockout and averages 0.91 knockdowns per 15 minutes to Clark’s 0.29. The Korean connects with significant strikes at a much higher rate, landing 4.05 per minute to Clark’s 2.94.

However, Clark absorbs 0.95 fewer significant strikes per minute. Both fighters average a similar amount of takedowns per 15 minutes, but Jung has a better takedown defense rate, 88 percent vs. 55.

The statistics primarily favor Jung, but at -265, it’s hardly worth taking him outright. Take Jung to win by KO/TKO at +120.

UFC Heavyweight Main Event
  • Derrick Lewis vs. Serghei Spivac
  • Odds to Win: Lewis +190 | Spivac -250
  • How Will Fight End: KO/TKO -230 | Submission +310 | Decision +490
  • Will the fight go the distance? Yes +490 | No -800

Interestingly, we have previewed this fight before in November, but it was called off at the last minute due to Derrick Lewis contracting a non-COVID-related illness. Although neither fighter has competed since that bout was called off, the line has shifted. Lewis is more of an underdog for this fight, moving from +168 to +190, while Serghei Spivac moves from -220 to -250

Still, Lewis is one of the heaviest hitters in the history of the UFC, and although he’s 37 years old, power is the last thing to go. Spivac has won five of his past six fights, while Lewis has lost three of four.

One significant difference is Lewis has been going up against higher-caliber fighters. They have a few opponents in common. Lewis lost by knockout to Tai Tuivasa, and Spivac submitted him. However, Spivac lost to Marcin Tybura, who Lewis knocked out. Meanwhile, they both beat Alexey Oleynik, Spivac by decision, and Lewis by knockout.

Having like opponents doesn’t necessarily tell us how fighters will measure up against each other, but it’s not insignificant. On the feet, Lewis will have a significant power advantage, with the ability to end a fight at any moment. Spivac will have a submission edge but will have to get Lewis to the ground.

The Polar Bear averages 4.09 takedowns per 15 minutes, and Lewis only has a 55 percent takedown defense. The Black Beast can usually get to his feet rather quickly after being taken down, but Father Time finds everyone.

This fight could signal the end of Lewis’s career, but at +240 to score a KO/TKO, it’s worth riding with him in this contest.

UFC Fight Night 218: Lewis vs. Spivac Betting Card
  • Tybura / Ivanov to go the distance (-190)
  • Jung by KO/TKO (+120)
  • Derrick Lewis by KO/TKO (+240)
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Picked For You