Back in August at UFC Vegas 6, Derrick Lewis (24-7, 1NC) became the promotion’s heavyweight knockout king. He earned that honor when he knocked out Alexey Oleynik in the second round of their heavyweight main event.
The victory was Lewis’ 11th knockout victory inside the UFC which pushed him passed Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos for soul possession of first. Quite the impressive honor for the heavyweight from Houston.
Lewis has become a fan favorite in the UFC for a number of reasons. Whether it’s his post-fight interviews which featured him taking his fight shorts off or his fighting style, The Black Beast has become must see TV.
Lewis will enter the octagon on Saturday night as the fourth ranked heavyweight in the UFC. He’s also on a three fight win streak and a victory on Saturday night could put him next in line after top contender Francis Ngannou. However, that task will not be easy.
UFC Vegas 15’s Tough Matchup
In order to secure his fourth straight win in the UFC, Lewis will have to take out the promotions second ranked heavyweight, Curtis Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC). There has only been one man to have derailed Blaydes in the UFC and that was Francis Ngannou.
Ngannou was able to finish Blaydes both times they’ve fought. However, outside of Ngannou, Blaydes has been a nightmare for the guys he’s fought. He’s used his wrestling and grappling skills to maul his opponents.
However, he’s also shown that his hands have gotten better. The Dos Santos knockout is proof of that. Still, Blaydes leans heavily on his wrestling attack and his vicious top game to neutralize and defeat his opponents.
Lewis is going to have to really show on Saturday that his takedown defense has gotten better. We’ve seen Lewis struggle inside the UFC against guys who want to take the fight to the ground.
The Black Beast struggled in his lone title shot against Daniel Cormier. He also struggled in the first round against Alexey Oleynik. However, with Lewis, he only needs one shot with the fight on the feet.
That’s what makes Saturday night so intriguing. On paper, you’d have to favor Blaydes because of the styles. However, it doesn’t matter how late we get into the fight, the heavyweight knockout king is always just one shot away from turning out the lights.