Police were called to Holbrook Street, Heanor shortly after midnight this morning (Tuesday, November 19) to a report that two men had been fighting in a passageway between two houses and a third man then intervened.
Two men, aged 44 and 26, were injured during the incident, which is alleged to have involved a baseball bat.
The 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm, as has a 58-year-old man.
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The 44-year-old man remains in hospital in a serious condition.
Officers want to hear from anyone who witnessed or heard what happened, or who has any information they think could help the inquiry.
Contact DS Sean Grainger on 101, quoting reference 19*618894.