This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 19, Curtis Blaydes (14-3, 1 NC) and Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) went head-to-head in the main event. Blaydes entered the contest as a huge betting favorite, however, Derrick Lewis was always one shot away from changing those odds.
Early on in the fight, Curtis Blaydes was actually getting the better of the striking. I was very impressed with his ability to control distance and he was doing a fantastic job of mixing in jabs with calf kicks.
A few times it appeared that Lewis was actually hurt by Blaydes at UFC Vegas 19. However, Blaydes was playing with fire by not going to his bread and butter which is his wrestling. In the second round, Blaydes did try going to his wrestling.
However, Lewis defended the takedown well and the two went back to striking. Blaydes tried again for another takedown and Lewis put his lights out with a brilliant uppercut. The knockout loss at UFC Vegas 19 snapped a four-fight winning streak for Curtis Blaydes.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 19?
Curtis Blaydes has only lost to two men inside the UFC. The down side for him is that those two men make up 50% of the heavyweight contenders ranked in front of him. Another problem for Blaydes is that he’s already defeated many of the contender ranked behind him.
To give him a fresh look, I think we should look to this upcoming weekend’s main event for his next fight. UFC Vegas 20 is being headlined by Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane. Blaydes has fought neither one of these men.
I think a great next fight for Blaydes would be fighting the loser of that matchup. Whoever loses will still be a top ten contender and will be in a similar position as Curtis Blaydes. I fully expect Blaydes to bounce back after this loss. He’s still one of the best heavyweights in the UFC without question.