UFC Predictions: UFC Vegas 19: Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis predictions and picks



After last weekend’s big UFC 258 event, the UFC returns to its APEX facility this weekend for UFC Vegas 19.The main event sees a clash of UFC Heavyweight contenders, as Curtis Blaydes faces off against Derrick Lewis, while Bantamweights Ketlen Vieira and Yana Kunitskaya face off in the co-main.The rest of the card is far weaker, with only a handful of recognizable names. But as always with the UFC, it’s worth watching the show as you never know when a classic fight is coming.Here are the predicted outcomes for UFC Vegas 19: Blaydes vs. Lewis.#1 UFC Heavyweight division: Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis Curtis Blaydes is probably the UFC Heavyweight division’s best wrestler.With a UFC Heavyweight title fight between champion Stipe Miocic and top contender Francis Ngannou finally signed for next month’s UFC 260, the stakes are high in this fight.A win for either man – particularly a big finish that goes viral – could propel them into the next title shot. However, the presence of Jon Jones in the Heavyweight division might change that.UFC President Dana White has claimed Jones will be next in line for a shot at Miocic or Ngannou, but Blaydes, in particular, could change that here.

Razor is on a four-fight win streak coming into this weekend, and stylistically, he seems like a tricky test for Miocic in particular.If Ngannou – who has beaten Blaydes twice – were to win the title, things would obviously be different. But if Miocic retains the belt, then there’d definitely be an argument for Blaydes, and not Jones, taking the next shot – particularly if he wins big against Lewis.What’s on the line for Lewis? In all honesty, probably nothing. The Black Beast already had his UFC Heavyweight title shot, coming up short in 2018 against then-champ Daniel Cormier. Since then, he’s gone 3-1 but is largely seen as a popular gatekeeper these days.So who is likely to take this one? To be honest, it’s hard not to favor Blaydes.Razor is probably the best wrestler in the UFC Heavyweight division right now. Indeed, he holds the record for the most takedowns landed in a UFC Heavyweight fight after dumping Alexander Volkov 14 times in their fight last summer.Blaydes has been criticized – even by White – for a somewhat dull fighting style, but that usually isn’t the case. Prior to his admittedly slower win over Volkov, he’d finished Junior Dos Santos and Shamil Abdurakhimov in violent fashion.

And this fight sounds stylistically perfect for him. Lewis is a concussive puncher – arguably only Ngannou hits harder in the entire UFC – but his ground game has always been a major weakness.Lewis’ straight-ahead style makes him relatively easy to take down, particularly for skilled wrestlers. And while he’s capable of escaping from the bottom, usually via brute force, UFC stars such as Cormier, Abdurakhimov, and Blagoy Ivanov found it relatively easy to keep him pinned.Add in the fact that The Black Beast also lacks in the cardio department, and you’d be forgiven for questioning how he’s made it this far.But when you possess the kind of face-melting power that Lewis does, you’ve always got a shot at winning. And so fights that The Black Beast was losing have quickly been turned around with one clubbing blow – giving him an impressive UFC record of 15-5.

Therefore, Lewis can win this fight, it just won’t be easy. His best bet might be to rush Blaydes from the off, just as Ngannou did, and bank on him being too willing to trade or panicking into making sloppy errors.However, I just don’t think that’s likely. It’s much more viable that Razor takes Lewis down early on, advances to the mount or back mount, and punches him very hard until the referee has to step in. A win like that would make Blaydes 11-2 in the UFC – and should net him a UFC title shot.The Pick: Blaydes via second-round TKO

Published 15 Feb 2021, 18:11 IST

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Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev is off again due to ‘lingering Covid-19 symptoms’


Khamzat Chimaev is out of the long-awaited welterweight bout against Leon Edwards at UFC Fight Night 187 on March 13 due to COVID-19.It is the third time that Chimaev versus Edwards needs to be put on hold. Khamzat Chimaev had withdrawn from the fight previously in 2020 because of the disease, as did Edwards. The Swedish-Russian MMA sensation is suffering from lingering physical effects caused by the virus.ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that UFC president Dana White told him on Thursday that Khamzat Chimaev is still facing difficulties to return to his best shape after having a severe case of COVID-19.The two were initially scheduled to fight on December 19, but Edwards had to be removed after contracting a rigorous infection related to the virus. It was reported at the time that Edwards lost twelve pounds due to the severity of his case.Per sources, Leon Edwards’ (@Leon_edwardsmma) case of Covid-19 was pretty severe. He couldn’t train at all, and he lost 12 pounds in four days. He’s in the process of recovering at home. Wishing him a speedy and full recovery.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) December 1, 2020The UFC rebooked the fight to January 20. However, this time it was Khamzat Chimaev who had to withdraw after testing positive to COVID-19. Like Edwards, Khamzat Chimaev also experienced a difficult battle against the virus and has not yet fully recovered.According to White, the UFC will have to drop the fight until Khamzat Chimaev recovers his form completely. Edwards is not expected to face a different opponent, with the fight likely to be moved to a new date.What is Khamzat Chimaev’s condition after a severe case of COVID-19?Khamzat Chimaev was seen destroying heavy bags in the first week of February in a video displaying his training ahead of the now-cancelled fight with Leon Edwards.

In addition to the footage posted by MMA Fighting, the UFC welterweight rising star also declared that he had completely recovered from the disease:”Now I’m back to a hundred percent. My lungs are good. We work hard day after day. I’ve always worked hard, but we have never trained for five rounds before. Now I train extra hard with longer sessions. I want to smash him [Leon Edwards], brother. I want to destroy him,” Khamzat Chimaev said.The fight with Edwards was seen as a possible title eliminator to challenge the winner between current champion Kamaru Usman and challenger Gilbert Burns.Khamzat Chimaev took the UFC by storm after winning his first three fights in promotion in an interval of only two months – all of them on UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Published 12 Feb 2021, 05:57 IST

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