What’s next for Devin Clark after UFC Vegas 15?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 15, Devin Clark (12-5) got the biggest opportunity of his career. After COVID scratched the original main event, he got the opportunity to headline a card against a former UFC title challenger in Anthony Smith.

Clark came into UFC Vegas 15 on a two-fight winning streak. He was the first man to derail the hype train of Alonzo Menifield back in June, but this was going to be a big step up in competition for Brown Bear.

Clark has very good wrestling and many people thought he could give Anthony Smith problems. Smith had some issues in his last couple of fights giving up takedowns and Clark had a style that could give him problems.

As soon as the fight started, Clark showed that he was game. Immediately opening the UFC Vegas 15 headliner with a big right hand which he attempted to chain into a takedown. However, Lionheart Smith did a fantastic job of reversing the position to take Clark down.

I was impressed with how Clark was able to defend himself on the ground. Brown Bear didn’t panic and he looked to reverse. Eventually, he exploded to end up in top position. However, he got a little lazy with his hands and Anthony Smith locked him in a triangle choke.

After initially defending the choke, Clark was forced to tap. The UFC Vegas 15 loss snapped his winning streak and it didn’t last very long. A tough loss for the Jackson-Wink product.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 15?

After the loss this past weekend, it’s back to the drawing board for Brown Bear. Clark did a few things really well in the fight, but a tactical error saw his first UFC main event end really quickly.

Fortunately, there’s no shame in losing to a top ten opponent who’s a former title challenger. It was a big step up in competition and maybe one that Clark wasn’t quite ready for. However, there are plenty of opponents in the UFC for him after this.

One matchup I like is a potential matchup with Ion Cutelaba (15-6, 1 NC). Cutelaba was ranked in the top 15 before he lost his second consecutive fight to Magomed Ankalaev back in October at UFC 254.

The Hulk would be a good next matchup for Clark. Both men are outside of the top 15 currently in the light heavyweight division. However, a win for either man would get them back on track to challenge someone in the UFC‘s top 15 at light heavyweight.

What’s next for Anthony Smith after UFC Vegas 15?

Anthony Smith

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 15, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (34-16) took on Devin Clark (12-5) in the main event. Originally the two were supposed to be in the co-main, but the original main event was scrapped due to a positive COVID test. 

The two also agreed to change the fight from three rounds to five rounds. However, the UFC Vegas 15 main event would not require more than a couple of minutes of the first round.

Devin Clark came out fast and hit Smith with a right hand. After that, he tried to initiate the takedown and use his wrestling. However, Smith did a very good job of reversing the position and landing a takedown of his own.

Once on the ground, Smith tried to get the back of Clark. Clark did a good job of defending and actually reversed the position to get on top. However, once there, Smith was able to lock up a triangle choke off of his back.

Clark tried to fight it off, but Smith locked it in very tight forcing the tap. A massive win for Smith who had entered UFC Vegas 15 on a two-fight losing streak. Both fights he looked completely checked out, but he looked fantastic on Saturday.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 15?

It really can’t be expressed how big UFC Vegas 15 was for Anthony Smith. Lionheart is a former title challenger, but a loss would have been devastating for his career. After his last loss, people were suggesting a potential move back to middleweight.

However, Smith looked better than ever locking up the quick win on Saturday. So what should the UFC do with Smith after his big win? Well there are a couple of options, but a fight I really like is Smith and Johnny Walker (18-5).

Walker is coming off of a pretty impressive knockout victory over Ryan Spann back in September. He’s currently ranked ninth in the UFC‘s light heavyweight rankings and could use a bump up in competition.

After defeating a non-ranked opponent, I think it would also be good for Smith to fight someone in the top ten in his next outing. Time will tell what the promotion does, but that would be my suggestion.

Anthony Smith makes quick work of Devin Clark at UFC Vegas 15

Anthony Smith

In the main event of tonight’s UFC Vegas 15 card, we had a light heavyweight contest that was originally scheduled to be the co-main event. Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (33-16) took on Devin “Brown Bear” Clark (12-4) in a five round light heavyweight showdown.

Just a couple of days ago, this fight was scheduled for three rounds as the co-main of UFC Vegas 15. However, Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID and the fight was bumped up. Both fighters also agreed to move it to a five round contest.

Anthony Smith was looking to bounce back after back-to-back losses in the UFC. Smith is a former title challenger, but he’s simply looked lost in about his last seven rounds of action. He was looking to right the ship against Clark.

Devin Clark was looking for the biggest win of his UFC career. Headlining his first show against a former title challenger was a big step up for Clark. Factoring in a two-fight winning streak, and you can see that Clark had a lot going for him.

UFC Vegas 15 Recap

Round 1

As the first round of the UFC Vegas 15 main event got underway, Clark immediately looked to close the distance. Clark landed a good clean right hand and forced the clinch. However, it was Anthony Smith who was able to get the upper hand and slam Clark to the ground.

Once the fight was on the ground, Smith was able to get the back of Clark. However, Clark was able to reverse the position to get top position. Clark started to look to pass the guard. However, Smith was really looking to stay active off his back.

Lionheart was able to lock up a triangle choke from the bottom. Clark fought hard to try to get out of the submission, but he was forced to tap. Huge bounce back win for Anthony Smith.

Anthony Smith def. Devin Clark by Submission (Triangle Choke) – Round 1

Breaking: UFC Vegas 15 Main Event is off

Curtis Blaydes, UFC

Shortly after we published our UFC Vegas 15 main event preview, news broke that the fight is off. Per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Curtis Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC) has tested positive for COVID-19 and the main event tomorrow has been cancelled.

Blaydes was scheduled to fight The Black Beast, Derrick Lewis (24-7, 1 NC). The fight was a huge fight for the UFC‘s heavyweight division as both men were entering the cage on multiple fight winning streaks.

In addition to that, both men were currently inside the UFC‘s top four. The winner was expected to be on the shortlist of contenders for a future title shot. However, we now know that we will have to wait on this one.

What is the UFC’s plan?

According to Helwani’s tweet, the UFC is currently working on booking this fight for sometime in December. To me, it makes all the sense in the world to book this fight on the main card of the UFC 256 PPV.

That card has taken a lot of hits including losing three title fights. The card’s main event features a flyweight title fight. In addition, Tony Ferguson returns as he takes on Charles Oliveira.

However, the card could use just a little more juice. Considering the UFC‘s December 19th card is already stacked, the December 12th card makes all the sense in the world. This is a crushing blow to the UFC Vegas 15 card.

The promotion will now move forward with Anthony Smith – Devin Clark as the main event of the evening. While that is expected to be a decent fight, in my opinion, it wasn’t even worth being a co-main event.

The UFC was going to struggle tomorrow taking on the Tyson – Jones Jr boxing main event, and now they just lost their heavyweight clash. Tough break for the promotion, but we will just have to see how this plays out.

UFC Vegas 15 Preview: Derrick Lewis – Curtis Blaydes

Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC Vegas 15, we have a heavyweight showdown that the MMA world is talking about. Top four contenders Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis (24-7, 1 NC) and Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC) will be going to battle.

This fight is a pivotal matchup for the UFC‘s heavyweight division. The winner of this fight will be on the short list of contenders for an upcoming shot at the UFC‘s heavyweight title. Both men having winning streaks that they are looking to continue.

For the Black Beast, he’s looking to pickup his fourth consecutive win in the UFC. Coming into this matchup, Lewis is coming off of a second round knockout over Alexey Oleynik that took place back in August.

The win was the third straight for Lewis. The Black Beast became the UFC’s heavyweight knockout king that night. Since making his promotional debut back in 2014, he’s only won a decision four times while scoring eleven knockouts in that time.

Blaydes on the other hand will be going into tomorrow night on a four fight winning streak. The only man to have defeated Blaydes in his professional career is top UFC heavyweight, Francis Ngannou. Ngannou was able to stop Blaydes both times they fought.

Razor Blaydes is known for his dominant wrestling and his tremendous ground and pound. He’s also really showed improvements in his hands although he’s made it clear that he does not plan on standing with the knockout king at UFC Vegas 15.

UFC Vegas 15 Prediction

The headliner at UFC Vegas 15 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 Vegas 15 Preview: Anthony Smith – Devin Clark

Anthony Smith

In the co-main event of tomorrow night’s UFC Vegas 15 card, we have a light heavyweight contest which features a former title challenger. Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (33-16) will be taking on Devin “Brown Bear” Clark (12-4) in his 50th professional fight.

That number is truly astonishing considering the former UFC title challenger is only 32 years old. Nevertheless, Smith will be making the walk for the 50th time as he’s looking to bounce back after two consecutive losses in the octagon.

Clark on the other hand is looking to break into the UFC‘s top 15. The Jackson-Wink product has won back to back fights to push his overall record to 12-4. Clark has been tested in his UFC career against some of the best including Aleksandar Rakic and current champ, Jan Blachowicz.

Of course, Clark came up short in both of those fights. However, I’ve seen a lot of improvement in his last couple of outings. Sure, the competition level wasn’t extremely high, but he seems to be heading in the right direction.

Smith on the other hand is heading in the wrong direction. Two consecutive losses for Smith have had him contemplating his UFC career. Smith looked fantastic in the first couple of rounds against Glover Teixiera. However, since then, he’s been dominated in seven rounds since.

UFC Vegas 15 Preview

When thinking about the UFC Vegas 15 co-main event, this should be a win for Anthony Smith. However, the key word in that sentence is that it should be Anthony Smith. I really think Smith has a very solid overall game.

We’ve seen him look good on the feet and he’s shown off good submission skills in the UFC. However, he just looked completely out of it in his last fight against Aleksandar Rakic. Sure, he was hurt with leg kicks, but mentally he looked checked out.

Tomorrow night will all come down to which Anthony Smith we get. Devin Clark is going to push forward and try to take Smith down. We’ve seen Smith fold to the point where he accepts getting taken down then shows no urgency to get back up.

If that happens tomorrow night, we are going to see Clark pickup another decision win. However, if we see some urgency out of Smith, I think he can score enough points on the feet and win some scrambles to get the decision.

I think that this fight is going to go the distance. Again, UFC Vegas 15 will come down to which Anthony Smith we get. I think he’s going to show just enough urgency to squeak out an extremely narrow split decision, but I’m not confident in that pick.

Prediction: Anthony Smith by Split Decision

UFC: Curtis Blaydes says he would need a raise to fight Jon Jones

Curtis Blaydes, UFC

This weekend at UFC Vegas 15, two top four heavyweights will go to battle. Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (14-2,1 NC) will take on The Black Beast, Derrick Lewis (24-7, 1 NC), in a fight that means a big deal for the UFC‘s heavyweight division.

Blaydes is looking to build back a little bit of his reputation after his last performance. Back in June, Blaydes took on Alexander Volkov looking to pick up his fourth straight win inside the octagon.

Going into that contest, Blaydes had back to back brutal finishes over Shamil Abdurakhimov and Junior Dos Santos. Just a few fights prior, he also had a brutal TKO victory over former title challenger Alistair Overeem.

Blaydes went into fight week talking about the fact that he should be fighting for the title. Of course, that’s crazy in theory considering the number one contender in the division has finished Blaydes twice.

Nevertheless, the confident wrestler believed he deserved a title shot. After saying a lot during fight week, Blaydes performance left much to be desired. He got the victory, but didn’t look impressive. Dana White definitely didn’t walk away impressed after the performance. 

Asking the UFC for more money?

If Blaydes picks up the victory this weekend, it would be his fifth straight UFC victory. In theory, he would be the clear number one contender after Francis Ngannou. However, he likely won’t be.

Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) recently vacated his light heavyweight title to move up to heavyweight. Dana White has already said that Jon Jones would fight for the title in his first appearance in the UFC‘s heavyweight division.

This would put Blaydes third in line despite having won five in a row. Some have floated the idea of the UFC booking Blaydes against Jones in a headliner to get Jones a heavyweight fight and determine the true top contender.

However, Blaydes has conditions if that fight was to be offered. He wants more money. “I’m not going to fight Jon Jones for $200,000. That’s ridiculous. I think a lot of people forget that we get paid what we get paid regardless. I can fight a bum and make $200,000,” Blaydes told Aaron Bronsteter. 

Wrong mentality?

With all due respect to Curtis Blaydes, this is the second time he’s shoved his foot in his mouth on fight week. Blaydes’ boss, Dana White, loves guys who relish opportunities to do something great. Imagine if Blaydes was the first in the UFC to truly beat Jon Jones.

Instead of relishing at that chance, Blaydes is saying he would only take the fight for more money. Blaydes has several things working against him: he’s not a draw, he’s not a champion, he’s not on Dana White’s good side.

I understand that Blaydes wants a title shot and he wants to get paid. However, he’s going about everything the wrong way. If the UFC calls and offers Blaydes Jon Jones. He needs to jump unless he believes in his mind that he has no shot.

If he truly believed that he could defeat Jon Jones, wouldn’t he jump at that chance? Imagine what a win over Jones could do for his career. Blaydes could become a star leading into his title shot to do that. Demanding a raise could end up seeing him on the sidelines as Jones gets his title shot.

At the end of the day, I completely respect what Curtis Blaydes is doing. He could win his fifth in a row this weekend and he has every right to ask for more. However, I would strongly advise him to not let money get in the way of a potential opportunity to welcome Jon Jones to heavyweight.

State of the heavyweight division ahead of UFC Vegas 15

MMA, Stipe Miocic

This weekend at UFC Vegas 15, Curtis Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC) and Derrick Lewis (24-7, 1 NC) will go head to head in a battle of top four contenders. The winner of this weekend’s fight will be squarely in the title picture.

However, the heavyweight division seems to be paused at the moment. Francis Ngannou (15-3) is the clear number one contender in the UFC‘s heavyweight division. Yet, his title fight has not been booked.

Ngannou has only fought once since the middle of 2019. He has been patiently waiting as the UFC‘s heavyweight title has been tied up for the last two years with the trilogy of Stipe Miocic (20-3) and Daniel Cormier.

Back at UFC 252, Miocic was able to finish off the trilogy with a unanimous decision win over Cormier. However, Miocic needed a little time off after the fight was over which has extended the layoff for Ngannou.

Ngannou has come out this week voicing his frustrations about his prime being wasted. The current plan is for the UFC to book the heavyweight title fight for sometime either in March or April. However, that is not confirmed.

UFC’s GOAT moving up

There’s another interesting wrinkle that’s been thrown into the UFC‘s heavyweight division and that’s Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC). Arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the world recently vacated his light heavyweight title to move up to heavyweight. 

Jones has his eyes on the UFC heavyweight title, and it’s been said that he will get a title shot in his first shot at heavyweight. However, Jones will not jump Ngannou which means we likely won’t see Jones competing for the title until the summer.

That being said, what does this weekend’s fight really mean? Without Jones, the UFC Vegas 15 winner would likely get the next shot after Ngannou. However, since Jones is moving up, the winner this weekend will likely be third in line.

Assuming either guy wouldn’t want to wait nearly a year for their title shot, the winner will likely have to take another fight. So what are the options for the winner? Well, there are a couple of options.

One option would be for the winner to take on Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-1). Rozenstruik doesn’t have a fight booked and he’s coming off of a knockout win over Junior Dos Santos. There’s not a clear next opponent for him and he hasn’t fought either man in this weekend’s main event.

Another option would be for the winner to take on the winner of the Alistair Overeem – Alexander Volkov fight in February. Some rematches can materialize with that possibility.

I think the UFC will likely book the winner this weekend against Rozenstruik. We know that the winner this weekend isn’t getting a title shot and they’re not fighting Jones. Keep the winner active, and let them fight Rozenstruik.

Derrick Lewis looks to extend heavyweight knockout record at UFC Vegas 15

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.