‘The Black Beast’ Derrick Lewis returns this weekend as he faces Curtis ‘Razor’ Blaydes in a clash at the top of the UFC heavyweight division. Lewis is currently on a 3-fight winning streak with his last triumph coming over Aleksei Oleinik. Blaydes on the other hand is currently on a 4-fight winning streak as he defeated Alexander Volkov in his last outing.
The winner of this weekend will rise in the rankings of the heavyweight division even further and will put himself in the conversation for the next title shot. Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou will rematch at UFC 260 in March as the former defends his title.
Jon Jones is set to take on the winner of that fight as he makes his divisional debut. So, whoever wins might have to wait a bit, but they will feature in the conversations for the next shot.
Ahead of this important clash, we take a look at the stats and predictions. In his UFC career, Blaydes has landed a massive 33 takedowns with a 56% accuracy. He will be up against the record holder for the most knockouts in the UFC heavyweight history, with 11 in the promotion and 19 knockouts overall. However, ‘Razor’ can trade and has a good punch to turn a fight.
Lewis, though, is very agile for his size and has a 53% takedown defense in his favor. So, it won’t be a walk in the park for Blaydes to just take him down and keep him there. But ‘Razor’ certainly can do that, especially if the fight goes to the later rounds.
Derrick Lewis vs Curtis Blaydes: Prediction
‘The Black Beast‘ has won 3 out of his last 5; Blaydes has won 4 out of his last 5. Blaydes is not only a grappler, he can strike as well. His TKO win over former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos is a testament to that fact. Lewis, on the other hand, was dominated at UFC 230 by Daniel Cormier and eventually stopped.
‘The Black Beast’s’ wrestling has improved, and he knows what he would need to do to secure a resounding win. He could take inspiration from Francis Ngannou, who remains the only man to have beaten Blaydes.
All it takes is one shot to end proceedings and Lewis will look to keep up the volume even if he is on his back. It may be an uphill battle for Blaydes at the UFC Apex, despite his minor reach advantage.
Final Prediction: Derrick Lewis wins by Knockout
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