UFC booking Curtis Blaydes – Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Curtis Blaydes, UFC

The UFC is close to finalizing a big time matchup in the heavyweight division. MMA Fighting was the first to report today that the promotion had verbal agreements for a heavyweight fight between Curtis Blaydes (14-3, 1 NC) and Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-2).

The matchup will take place at UFC 266 which is currently scheduled for September 25th. This is the fight that Rozenstruik wanted. Bigi Boy just fought Augusto Sakai less than two weeks ago in a main event.

That night, Rozenstruik picked up the first round TKO win. After the fight was over, he requested that the UFC book him against Curtis Blaydes next. Bigi Boy said that it was the fight he wanted and a fight that made sense for the heavyweight division.

With the win over Sakai, Rozenstruik moved to 6-2 in his eight UFC fights. He was unbeaten entering 2020 and he had a title eliminator against Francis Ngannou. Ngannou knocked Rozenstruik out in 20 seconds.

Rozenstruik then went 1-1 in his next two fights. Earlier this year, he had a main event against Ciryl Gane where he looked awful. Bigi Boy wasn’t aggressive and lost a decision. He promised the UFC he’d deliver in his next fight and that’s what he did with a first round TKO.

UFC 266 Heavyweight Battle

UFC 266 will provide Curtis Blaydes with a much needed opportunity to bounce back. Back in 2018, Blaydes was close to a title shot when he took on Francis Ngannou. Had Blaydes won that fight, he might’ve earned himself a shot at the belt.

However, like Rozenstruik, Blaydes was knocked out in under a minute by Ngannou. After that loss, Blaydes won four straight to put himself in another title eliminator. This one was against the popular Derrick Lewis.

Given what we know about the Jon Jones situation, the winner of Blaydes/Lewis was going to get a UFC title shot against Francis Ngannou. After starting well, Blaydes was knocked out cold by Derrick Lewis. Another big setback for Curtis Blaydes.

Blaydes is one of the best heavyweights in the world. However, he has seemed to stumble right when he gets to a title eliminator. He needs a big win over Rozenstruik in September to get him back on track and in the conversation for a future title shot.

After first round knockout at UFC Vegas 28, what’s next for Jairzinho Rozenstruik?

Entering UFC Vegas 28, Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-2) was facing a bit of a crossroads. Just over a year ago, Rozenstruik was undefeated and he looked like he was knocking on the door of a potential UFC title shot.

However, he lost by knockout to the current champion Francis Ngannou. After a win against Junior Dos Santos, Rozenstruik was outpointed by Ciryl Gane earlier this year. This fight against Augusto Sakai (15-3-1) was a fight that he needed to win.

If Bigi Boy wanted to remain in the conversation of top UFC heavyweights, he had to defeat Augusto Sakai. Sakai on the other hand was looking to bounce back from his first UFC loss so this was a big fight for him.

The problem with Rozenstruik has been his aggressiveness. When he fought Ciryl Gane, he fought so passive that he virtually landed nothing over the course of five rounds. It didn’t win him any fans in the UFC.

We needed to see an aggressive Jairzinho Rozenstruik on Saturday and that’s what we got. At UFC Vegas 28, Rozenstruik immediately took the center and pressured Sakai. With seconds left in the first round, Rozenstruik landed a shot to the temple and Sakai went crashing down. Rozenstruik picked up the massive first round TKO finish.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 28?

After the fight was over, Rozenstruik was asked what he wanted in his next UFC appearance. There was one name that Rozenstruik wanted and it’s a fight that makes a ton of sense given the current landscape of the heavyweight division.

In his next fight, Rozenstruik said he wanted to fight Curtis Blaydes (14-3, 1 NC). Blaydes last fought in February when he was knocked out by Derrick Lewis. Outside of Lewis, Blaydes has only lost to the current UFC heavyweight champion.

Blaydes is considered one of the best heavyweights in the division and definitely one of the best wrestlers. It would be a really tough matchup for Rozenstruik, but I really respect that he wants to fight the guy who makes the most sense from a rankings perspective. Honestly, this is the route the UFC should go next.

State of the UFC’s heavyweight division

MMA, Stipe Miocic

The last month has been incredibly busy for the UFC‘s heavyweight division. In the month of February alone, three fight nights were headlined by heavyweight clashes that shook up the heavyweight division.

However, outside of fighting, we also saw some big news come in last night regarding the heavyweights. The UFC released former heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos (21-9) and former title challenger, Alistair Overeem (47-19, 1 NC).

Both men were ranked inside the top 12 at heavyweight so the news is shaking up the rankings a bit. The release of JDS wasn’t surprising, but Overeem had just headlined UFC Vegas 18 against Alexander Volkov (33-8).

Volkov looked better than ever and stopped Overeem in the second round. However, Overeem had won two in a row prior so the decision to release was rather interesting. Nevertheless, Overeem is no longer with the promotion.

After Volkov’s big win, we saw UFC Vegas 19 which was headlined by Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) and Curtis Blaydes (14-3, 1 NC). Both of these men were looking to stake their claim as a top contender and that’s exactly what Derrick Lewis did.

After Curtis Blaydes easily won the first round, Lewis put him to sleep in the second round. Lewis is now tied for the most knockouts in UFC history and he’s ranked second in the heavyweight division.

Last weekend at UFC Vegas 20, we saw the conclusion of the heavyweight main events. Ciryl Gane (8-0) took on Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-2). It was the only fight that went the distance and it lacked for action, but Ciryl Gane dominated his way into the top five at heavyweight.

State of the UFC’s heavyweight division

After all of these fight nights, there is a big more clarity in the heavyweight division. At the end of this month at UFC 260, Stipe Miocic (20-3) will take on Francis Ngannou (15-3) for the heavyweight championship in a rematch.

After this fight, we already know what is next. Regardless of the outcome, Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) is getting the next crack at the heavyweight title. Jones vacated his light heavyweight championship to pursue the heavyweight title and he’s getting an immediate title shot.

I would say that whoever loses the title fight in March will likely face Derrick Lewis next. Lewis would be the number one contender if Jon Jones wasn’t moving up. Given where Stipe and Francis both stand, the UFC will likely let Lewis fight the winner after UFC 260.

With that, I believe that Volkov will likely be fighting Ciryl Gane next. Both are now ranked inside the top five and a win for either man would probably put them just one more win away from a title shot.

By the process of elimination, we could also see Curtis Blaydes and Rozenstruik fight next. Both are coming off of a loss, but both are still ranked inside the top six. The top of the heavyweight division is looking very exciting and I can’t wait to see how 2021 plays out for the big boys in the UFC.

After big knockout at UFC Vegas 19, what’s next for Derrick Lewis?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 19, the heavyweights took center stage. In the main event, “The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) took on Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (14-3, 1 NC). Both men carried winning streaks into the octagon on Saturday night.

Curtis Blaydes was the heavy betting favorite on Saturday night. Blaydes was the second ranked heavyweight in the UFC and outside of Francis Ngannou, nobody has been able to touch him inside the octagon. Most expected a heavy dose of wrestling from Blaydes on Saturday night.

Derrick Lewis is the heavyweight knockout king. He stands alone atop the UFC‘s heavyweights when it comes to knockouts. The Black Beast has freak power and for that reason, many expected Blaydes to focus on the wrestling and grappling. We’ve seen Lewis struggle there before.

However, early on in the fight, Blaydes was content with standing with Lewis. Curtis Blaydes seemed apprehensive and tentative to shoot with the power of Lewis. Derrick Lewis seemed to be trying to time an uppercut on a shot from Blaydes.

In the first round, Curtis Blaydes actually got the better of the standup. The range was really bothering Lewis and Blaydes seemed to find a rhythm on the feet. In the second round, Blaydes tried to transition to his wrestling. However, Lewis defended the first takedown and they stayed standing.

On the second takedown attempt, Lewis landed the uppercut that he was trying to time. A lifeless Blaydes flopped to the floor and ate a few follow up shots. Another knockout win for the UFC‘s heavyweight knockout king.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 19?

When the UFC rankings come out tomorrow, I would fully expect Derrick Lewis to be ranked second. He’s now on a four-fight win streak and he also holds a victory over current top contender, Francis Ngannou.

While many focus on just his knockouts and his interviews, Lewis has put together quite the run in the UFC’s heavyweight division. If Jon Jones wasn’t moving to heavyweight, The Black Beast would be getting the winner of Miocic/Ngannou 2 which happens next month.

However, with Jones getting the next shot at the title, the UFC will have to do something else with Lewis. The perfect fight for Lewis is the winner of this weekend’s main event at UFC Vegas 20.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane are battling it out and whoever wins will be ranked in the top five. Lewis hasn’t fought either of those top contenders so a matchup between them would make perfect sense. Perhaps that would be the co-main event to the Jones heavyweight title fight later in the summer.

After brutal knockout loss at UFC Vegas 19, what’s next for Curtis Blaydes?

Curtis Blaydes, UFC

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.

Derrick Lewis puts Curtis Blaydes to sleep at UFC Vegas 19

In the main event of UFC Vegas 19, we saw a heavyweight clash between two of the best in the world. Derrick Lewis (24-7, 1 NC) and Curtis Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC) were both looking to continue their winning streaks tonight.

The Black Beast became the UFC‘s heavyweight knockout king in his last performance. Derrick Lewis had won three fights in a row and he was looking to make a big statement with a win over Curtis Blaydes.

Lewis is known for his incredibly power and is fun personality. However, grappling and cardio are not two of the things he’s known for. He would need to show improvements in both of these areas to get the win.

Standing across from Lewis at UFC Vegas 19 was Curtis Blaydes. Blaydes is easily the third best heavyweight in the world right now. Only Francis Ngannou has gotten the better of him and he’s done it twice.

Outside of Ngannou, Blaydes has been a puzzle that nobody has been able to crack. Blaydes has sensational wrestling and he was very clear about his game plan leading into tonight’s main event.

UFC Vegas 19 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 19 main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Lewis took the center of the octagon anticipating the takedown attempt from Blaydes. Blaydes came in and tried to strike and Lewis cracked him with some big shots.

Blaydes immediately backed away and looked to reset. Lewis was calm and just appeared to be timing Curtis Blaydes. A lot of pressure from Curtis Blaydes found Lewis’ back against the cage.

Blaydes tried to work his way in, but he was tentative to engage. He started to work his jab while Lewis was still looking to time him for big shots. Blaydes steps in to engage and he actually tagged Lewis with a couple of big shots as Lewis swung wildly.

Then Blaydes started mixing in some good low kicks. A nice jab lands for Cutis Blaydes and the distance was starting to be a problem for Lewis. Blaydes was really connecting well from distance. The first round at UFC Vegas 19 was all striking and Curtis Blaydes takes it.

Round 2

The second round at UFC Vegas 19 kicked off with a lot of pressure from Blaydes. Both men exchanged big shots and then Blaydes shot in for a takedown. However, Lewis defended well and the two men went back to striking.

Blaydes was dominating the striking early on. Again, the range was a problem and Lewis was being a little wild. Just as I say that, Blaydes shoots in for a takedown and a clean uppercut lands for Derrick Lewis. Blaydes is out and eats a couple more clean bombs for his troubles. Another knockout for The Black Beast!

Derrick Lewis def. Curtis Blaydes by KO – Round 2

UFC Vegas 19 Preview: Derrick Lewis – Curtis Blaydes

Tomorrow night the UFC returns for their 19th Fight Night from the APEX. In the main event of the evening we are going to see to of the best heavyweights in the world battle it out as Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis (24-7, 1 NC) takes on Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC).

In reality, this should be a title eliminator in the heavyweight division. However, with Jon Jones being guaranteed the next UFC heavyweight title shot, the winner of this fight is going to be in a bit of a state of limbo.

Nevertheless, it’s a massive fight for both men. Both heavyweights will walk into UFC Vegas 19 with winning streaks. Derrick Lewis is going to be looking to pickup his fourth consecutive win tomorrow.

Lewis is known for his entertaining style and of course, his interviews. The Black Beast might not have the best technique or the best cardio, but his raw power is something to behold. He’s always just one shot away from putting your lights out.

Nobody can question how good Curtis Blaydes is. Blaydes, in my opinion, is easily the third best heavyweight in the UFC. However, he’s in a bit of a tough spot because his only two losses are to the same man, Francis Ngannou.

Blaydes is known for his great wrestling. He might have the best pure wrestling in the heavyweight division and he has been very vocal about how he plans to use it tomorrow. Either he will dominate with his wrestling or The Black Beast will have to catch him with a big shot.

UFC Vegas 19 Prediction

The headliner at UFC Vegas 19 is relatively easy to pick in my opinion. The fight is going to go one of two ways. Either Derrick Lewis is going to catch Blaydes and knock him out, or we are going to see a wrestling clinic with Blaydes getting his hand raised.

If Lewis wins tomorrow night, UFC fans will be talking about a knockout. If Blaydes wins, we will be discussing his efficiency and his dominant wrestling. There is a chance that Blaydes can get a TKO finish tomorrow night. However, only if Lewis completely gasses out.

If Derrick Lewis is going to win tomorrow night, he’s gonna have to catch Blaydes coming in. If he can’t catch him, I don’t see the fight going well. Lewis struggles with wrestlers and Blaydes is arguably the best in the division. I can definitely see Lewis catching him, but smart money is on Blaydes.

Prediction: Curtis Blaydes by Unanimous Decision

UFC: Curtis Blaydes only cares about what the win, not what fight fans want to see

Curtis Blaydes, UFC

Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC Vegas 19, Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC) will be going for his fifth straight victory. Standing in front of him is “The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis (24-7, 1 NC). The fight is shaping up as a classic hero vs villain type of fight.

For Curtis Blaydes, the path to victory tomorrow is pretty clear. While he’s certainly shown improved standup over the years, the path to a victory at UFC Vegas 19 lies within his wrestling. Blaydes might be the best wrestler in the UFC‘s heavyweight division at the moment.

When he’s on, he’s incredibly difficult to get off of you. Blaydes has tremendous strength and shows great control once the fight does get to the ground. Once it’s there, he also does a fantastic job of landing vicious strikes. Just ask Alistair Overeem about that.

The only real way for Derrick Lewis to win tomorrow is by knocking Blaydes out on the feet. Blaydes knows this and he doesn’t plan on playing with that fire. He knows the fans want to see a heavyweight war at UFC Vegas 19, but his inner “pettyness” won’t give in to what the fans want to see.

UFC wins is all Blaydes cares about

Blaydes took to the mic at yesterday’s press event and talked about his strategy. Blaydes said, “I’m very petty. The more you don’t want me to do it (wrestle), the more I’m going to be like ‘FU’ I’m going to do it. I know people don’t wanna watch it. You’re going to watch it.”

The top UFC heavyweight brought up some great points in giving his reasons. He brought up the fact that his current contract is paying him $100,000 to show and $100,000 to win. Blaydes said he will take whatever path necessary to win to provide the best future for his daughter.

Blaydes also brought up the fact that he will not give in to fans who won’t care about him once he walks out of the cage. In reality, he makes a lot of strong points. Blaydes is one of the best heavyweights in the UFC and he’s earned that distinction by doing it his way and not giving in for the purpose of entertainment.

After his big win at UFC Vegas 18, what’s next for Alexander Volkov?

Alexander Volkov, UFC

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 18, Alexander Volkov (33-8) went head-to-head with Alistair Overeem (47-19, 1 NC). The winner of this matchup was going to be in a very good position inside the top five moving forward.

I was expecting this fight to be close, but in reality, it was anything but. As soon as the bell sounded at UFC Vegas 18, Alexander Volkov was in control. His strikes were extremely crisp and he never gave Overeem any time to get comfortable inside the octagon.

There were several times where Volkov pinned Overeem against the fence and peppered him with shots. In the second round, Volkov really started to do some serious damage. A huge 1-2 forced Overeem to turn away and that’s when Volkov really poured it on.

A few more devastating combinations followed and Overeem went crashing to the floor which caused the referee to stop it. Alexander Volkov didn’t just win at UFC Vegas 18, he made a huge statement.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 18?

Following the big win at UFC Vegas 18, there are a couple of options for Alexander Volkov. Both of the options I have in mind look at the two heavyweight main events that are coming up later this month.

Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blaydes are scheduled to headline on 2/20 while Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane are headlining on 2/27. If I was the match maker for the UFC, I would give Volkov the winner of one of these matchups.

The only fight I would consider giving him the loser in would be the Lewis and Blaydes matchup. Volkov was seconds away from a UFC title shot a few years ago before Derrick Lewis (24-7, 1 NC) knocked him out.

Curtis Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC) grinded out a decision win against Volkov back in 2020. Blaydes and Lewis are the only two men to have defeated Volkov in the UFC. So if you were going to give him a loser of those matchups, that’s the fight to do it.

Personally, I love Volkov against the winner of the Gane/Rozenstruik matchup. In my ideal world, that is what I would do next. Exciting times and a bunch of fun matchups are ahead in the UFC’s heavyweight division.

UFC rebooks Derrick Lewis – Curtis Blaydes

The UFC has rebooked a highly anticipated heavyweight matchup that got cancelled in November. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting this evening that Derrick Lewis (24-7,1 NC) and Curtis Blaydes (14-2,1 NC) have agreed to a new date.

The UFC has finalized the heavyweight matchup for February 20th. Both men were originally supposed to fight in November, however, a day before the event, Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19 and the fight was scrapped.

There was initial doubt that the UFC would rebook the matchup. However, given the current landscape at heavyweight, pairing these two top contenders against each other makes all the sense in the world.

Derrick Lewis will be looking for his fourth straight victory on February 20th. Lewis last fought in August when he knocked out Alexey Oleynik in the second round of their fight. However, it was a shaky start for The Black Beast.

Lewis was taken down and controlled for a good part of the first round against Oleynik. If he’s going to win on February 20th, his wrestling is going to have to be on point. There’s no secret as to what his opponent is going to do.

UFC heavyweight battle

Curtis Blaydes has been extremely dominant in his run in the UFC. So far, there has only been one man who has been able to beat him. The problem for Blaydes is that he’s lost twice to him.

That man is the top UFC heavyweight contender, Francis Ngannou. However, outside of Ngannou, nobody has had an answer for the wrestling attack of Curtis Blaydes. He’s not flashy, but he knows how to get the job done.

Blaydes has shown improvements in the striking as he showed in his knockout of Junior Dos Santos. However, make no mistake about it, Blaydes is going to be using his wrestling a lot on February 20th.

On paper, this is a really tough matchup for Derrick Lewis. Lewis struggles against strong grapplers and Blaydes might be the best in the division. However, the exciting thing is that with the UFC’s Black Beast, he’s always just one shot away.