‘Happy Birthday!’ UFC star Junior dos Santos serenades his son after knocking out Derrick Lewis
Brazilian dos Santos had already badly hurt Lewis with a kick to the body in the first round when he connected with a huge right hand in the second, sending him to the canvas.
And after a succession of unanswered ground strikes, referee Herb Dean waved off the contest to give dos Santos his third win in a row, and his second straight TKO finish.
After his victory, an elated dos Santos thanked the Wichita crowd for their support, then asked them to join him in a rendition of 'Happy Birthday' as he sang to his two-year-old son Bento, who was sat at octagonside.
Dos Santos employed a solid gameplan during the fight, keeping himself at long range and looking to leap in with power strikes before sliding out of range. That tactic wasn't without its risks, however, and the 35-year-old's chin was tested by a succession of head-kick attempts and some huge right hands from "The Black Beast".
JDS gets the entire crowd to sing happy birthday to his son. This man is a treasure. #UFCWichita— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) March 10, 2019
The former world champion delivered the fight's decisive moment towards the end of the first round, when a powerful kick to the body of Lewis had the former title challenger folded up in pain.
But despite his clear discomfort, Lewis spied dos Santos moving in for the finish and unleashed a huge right hand that connected with the Brazilian and sent him staggering back out of range.
Dos Santos regrouped between rounds and set about dismantling Lewis in the second stanza while Lewis, under the instruction of his corner, came out looking for the knockout blow.
But it proved to be dos Santos who discovered the crucial strike, as he connected with the huge right hand that brought about the end of the fight.
The crazy back-and-forth battle between the two heavyweights earned Fight of the Night honors, with both men pocketing an extra $50,000 each for their performances.
But all dos Santos wants is more regular fights and, eventually, another shot at the title he once held.
"I want fights, UFC!" he demanded.
I'm here to fight again and regain my belt!