Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis – UFC Vegas 19 Preview

Curtis Blaydes
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 20: (R-L) Curtis Blaydes punches Alexander Volkov of Russia in their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 19 is an interesting card. Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis will square off in the main event. That fight features a pair of fighters ranked inside the top five. The winner will find themselves at the top of the heap in terms of future title contenders. Stipe Miocic and Francis NGannou are scheduled to meet at UFC 260 in March and the winner will likely be facing Jon Jones after that. So the bottom line is the winner of this clash could well be the new number one contender but will likely have to wait for a possible shot at the crown.

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UFC Vegas 19 – Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis

Curtis Blaydes (14-2)
Curtis Blaydes is an impressive fighter. His standup is improving and his ground game is pretty stellar. He has great takedowns and is super heavy in the top position. He can hold most fighters down and control them. It makes him very difficult to handle in the Octagon.

Blaydes has lost twice in his career, both times at the exceedingly heavy hands of Francis NGannou. He’s won four consecutive fights, including wins over Alexander Volkov and Junior Dos Santos.

Derrick Lewis can end a fight with either hand at any time. He is an explosive striker who despite not having the best takedown defense, has an uncanny ability to get up almost immediately. He enters this fight having won three in a row, defeating Aleksei Oleinik, Ilir Latifi, and Blagoy Ivanov. He has a tremendous ability to lose the first 10-12 minutes of a fight and then steal it with a stoppage late. He’s just always one punch away. He will try and keep the contest standing, otherwise, he runs the risk of being smothered.

The Matchup

This is a great contest in the heavyweight division and a fight that needed to happen. It’s the classic striker vs. wrestler fight. Curtis Blaydes is playing with fire if he opts to stand up and trade. He would be much better off searching for the takedown and punishing Derrick Lewis on the canvas. Derrick Lewis on the flip side wants to stand and land one of his trademark hammers and knock out Blaydes.

At the end of the day, styles make fights and this is simple. If they stand, Lewis wins, if they grapple, Blaydes wins. Blaydes is an expert at plying his trade and taking the fight into his realm, and that doesn’t bode well for Derrick Lewis.

UFC Vegas 19 Fight Card:

Main Card:

  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis
  • Ketlen Vieira vs. Yana Kunitskaya
  • Darrick Minner vs. Charles Rosa
  • Alexey Oleinik vs. Chris Daukaus
  • Nassourdine Imavov vs. Phil Hawes

Preliminary Card:

  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Tom Aspinall
  • Jared Gordon vs. Danny Chavez
  • Drakkar Klose vs. Luis Pena 
  • Eddie Wineland vs. John Castaneda 
  • Julian Erosa vs. Nate Landwehr
  • Rafael Alves vs. Pat Sabatini
  • Shana Dobson vs. Casey O’Neill
  • Chas Skelly vs. Jamall Emmers 
  • Aiemann Zahabi vs. Drako Rodriguez
  • Sergey Spivak vs. Jared Vanderaa

Feature Image:
Embed from Getty Images

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