Curtis Blaydes vs Derrick Lewis preview: who’s winning streak will end?
There is always something special about a heavyweight bout in any combat sport, especially when both fighters are highly ranked and on winning streaks.
Luckily for UFC fans, Saturday night sees number four ranked Derrick Lewis go up against number two ranked Curtis Blaydes in the much-anticipated main event of UFC Fight Night at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, USA.
Both fighters on form
As previously mentioned, both Blaydes and Lewis go into this fight on the back of convincing win streaks.
In his last time out, Curtis ‘Razor’ Blaydes dominated Russian heavyweight and number five ranked Alexander Volkov, getting the unanimous decision win after an impressive 14 takedowns and 69 total strikes in comparison to Volkov’s 1 takedown and 31 strikes.
Meanwhile, Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis defeated Russian veteran Aleksei Oleinik with a TKO ground and pound finish in the second round after also dominating his opponent throughout. The victory meant Lewis now has the most KOs in UFC heavyweight history.
A classic striker vs wrestler match-up
There is a vast difference in fighting styles between Blaydes and Lewis. Blaydes and his wrestling ability is second to none in the UFC, let alone in the heavyweight division. The Illinois native averages just under 7 takedowns per appearance, so there will be no doubt we will see him try and take this fight to the mat in order to try and wear out Lewis.
On the other hand, Lewis is known for his knockout power, hence his record. He has also greatly improved his versatility in his striking, throwing not just bombs with his hands, but also rib-breaking kicks and powerful knees that have caused problems to his opponents in the past.
Prediction – it all depends where the fight happens
Both fighters will be looking to take their opponent into their world.
Blaydes goes into the bout as the bookies favourite, and who can argue. Now 9-2 since entering the UFC – with both his losses coming against now number one contender Francis Ngannou – Blaydes will be looking to take the fight to the ground as soon as possible, hoping that he can out-wrestle Lewis, eventually wearing him out and getting the ground and pound finish that he does so well.
For Lewis, the message is simple. Don’t let Blaydes take you down. If Lewis can defend the takedown and keep it a boxing match, his chances are much higher. We’ve seen Lewis change the outcome of fights with just one punch, even when behind on the judge’s scorecards – see his comeback victory against Volkov as an example of this.
However, as much as I believe in the sheer power of Lewis, Blaydes’s ability to takedown his opponents and completely dominate them on the ground is incredible. Something I feel will be too much for Lewis to overcome.
Prediction – 3rd round TKO by Blaydes.
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