Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis will meet Saturday in Las Vegas at the UFC Fight Night main event. The fight was originally scheduled for Nov. 28, but Blaydes tested positive for VIDOC-19 and the fight was canceled a day before the event.
ESPN sees Blaydes third and Lewis fifth in the heavyweight division. With Francis Ngannou winning Stipe Miocic’s next title next month at UFC 260 and the great Jon Jones seemingly waiting in the wings, Blaydes’ victory over Lewis puts him in pole position should anything happen to either athlete.
ESPN heavyweight Curtis Blades, No.3, takes on No.5 Derrick Lewis, the two leading contenders for Stipe Miocic’s title against Francis Ngannou in a few weeks. A win on Saturday would immediately set up a future title draw.
UFC Fight Night: Blades vs. Lewis –
Saturday, February 20, UFC Apex, Las Vegas – Main Card: 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+ – Preliminaries: 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+. ET on ESPN+ – Preliminary Rounds: 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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Blades (14-2, 1 NC) has recorded four wins in a row, including a unanimous decision victory over Alexander Volkov last June. The Illinois-born fighter, who trains in Colorado, has lost to only one man in the UFC: Ngann, and twice. Blaydes, 30, is a former NJCAA wrestling champion and makes no apologies for his style of dismantling and ground control in MMA.
Lewis (24-7, 1 NC) won three consecutive, including one against Alex Oleynik in August. The Houston native has the most eliminations in UFC heavyweight history (11). Lewis, 36, is a fan favorite and has won six of eight and 12 of 15 awards.
In the side fight, Ketlen Vieira faces Jana Kunitskaya in a bantamweight bout. On Friday, Vieira lost two pounds. Vieira (11-1), ranked 7th in the world in women’s bantamweight by ESPN and 9th by Kunitskaya, rebounded from her first career loss by defeating Cijara Eubanks in September. Kunitskaya (13-5, 1 NC) won three of four fights.
Still on the card, Oleynik faces Chris Daukaus in an intriguing featherweight fight, light heavyweight veteran Charles Rosa takes on Derrick Minner and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski takes on Tom Aspinall.
Jeff Wagenheim and Mark Raimondi summarize the action as it unfolds. You can also watch the fights on ESPN+.
The battle continues
Men’s lightweight: Julian Erosa (24-9, 3-4 CFU, -110) vs. Nate Landwehr (14-3, 1-1 CFU, -110)
Women’s Lightweight: Casey O’Neill (6-0, 1-0 CFU) defeated Shana Dobson (4-5, 2-4 CFU) in the second round by TKO.
Error. Movie non specified.Casey O’Neill dominated Shana Dobson to get a second round TKO in her UFC debut. Chris Unger/Zuffa.
O’Neill didn’t look like a fighter making his UFC debut. She looked undefeated.
The 23-year-old Australian, born in Scotland and living in Australia since the age of 10, dominated her first appearance in the Octagon from start to finish.
Really, that’s Casey’s rhythm every day in the gym. Absolute killer. #UFCVegas19
– Eric Nicksickick (@Eric_XCMMA) February 20, 2021
O’Neill managed to pull away quickly, and when she lost her position, she just started running again. By the end of the first round, she was sitting on Dobson, dropping her elbows and threatening to throw up.
In the second round, the same thing happened. O’Neil immediately brought the fight to the canvas and placed himself in a dominant position, controlling from the back and then in full mount. Dobson struggled to escape, but O’Neil skillfully maintained control. She elbowed and punched until the referee intervened at 3:41 of the turn.
Dobson, 31, a Miami native, trains in Denver for Team Elevation, the same team as head coach Curtis Blades. She has lost four of her last five fights.
Watch this fight on ESPN+.
Forfeit: Featherweight Men: Chas Skelly (18-3, 1 NC, 7-3, 1 NC PDU, +180) vs. Jamall Emmers (18-5, 1-1 PDU, -220)
Skelly entered the octagon and waited for Emmers to enter their featherweight fight. But Emmers did not.
According to the UFC broadcast, Emmers developed cramps backstage at UFC Apex and was unable to compete. Octagon spokesman Joe Martinez announced the cancellation of the fight.
Back spasms are not a joke that get out of hand.
– Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) February 20, 2021
“I feel like I should get my victory bonus,” Skelly said. “I weighed in, I gained weight, I walked into the cage. That’s how I feel. I hope Jamall is okay. No bickering. This sucks.”
Skelly said he wasn’t sure if he wanted to come back to fight soon because of the big weight cut.
“It’s not easy for me to gain weight,” Ms. Skelly said. “I don’t want to turn around now and lose weight again next week. “I don’t want to put my body into that yo-yo.”
Men’s Bantam Weight: Ayeman Zahabi (8-2, 2-2 UFC) defeated Draco Rodriguez (7-2, 0-1 UFC) by KO in the first round.
Zahabi hasn’t fought since 2019. What does it matter, another three minutes of downtime?
The 33-year-old Montrealer, who trains at Tristar Gym with his older brother Firas Zahabi, barely managed to land a punch in the first half of the first round. But then he dropped a right hand that took Rodriguez down with a punch at 3:05 in the first round.
When your back is against the wall, there is no better feeling than a big win. #UFCVegas19
– Aljaman Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) February 20, 2021
In his first fight since May 2019 and his second appearance since 2017, Zahabi ended a run of two defeats.
Rodriguez, 24, who fights in Sioux City, Iowa, made his UFC debut. He emerged as the aggressor and threw some clean punches early on, including some lead punches. But when Zahabi finally managed to strike, the heat was on for Rodriguez, who saw an end to his run of three consecutive victories.
The fight was originally scheduled to take place in December, but Zahabi tested positive for COWID-19. The rescheduled fight took place at 140.5 pounds after Rodriguez missed the bantam weight limit on Friday.
Watch this fight on ESPN+.
Heavyweight: Sergey Spivak (12-2, 3-2 CFU) defeated Jared Vanderaa (11-5, 0-1 CFU) in the second round by TKO.
Spivak left Vanderaa in a pool of his own blood.
For most of the second round, Spivak was in the lead and distanced himself from his position. The punches were not the strongest – both men were clearly tired. But referee Chris Cognoni stopped the fight after 4:32 seconds and declared Spivak the winner by KO.
The first round was similar. Spivak dominated the field and Vanderaa had few answers. Spivak looks to be a real contender for the heavyweight crown.
Spivac, 26, has recorded two wins in a row and three of his five fights in the UFC. The Ukrainian, who fights in Moldova, has nine finishes in 12 victories. Vanderra, 28, of Washington, D.C., made his UFC debut after a TKO first-round match against Harry Hunsaker in Dana White’s Contender series last November.
Watch this fight on ESPN+.
He will come:
Heavyweight: Curtis Blades (14-2 1 NC, 9-2 1 NC PDU, -380) vs. Derrick Lewis (24-7 1 NC, 15-5 PDU, +300
)Women’s Lightweight: Ketlen Vieira (11-1, 5-1 PDU, -280) vs. Jana Kunitskaya (13-5, 3-2 PDU, +230
)Men’s Lightweight: Charles Rosa (13-4, 4-4 PDU, -190) vs. Derrick Minner (25-11, 1-1 CEU, +160
)Heavyweight: Alex Oleynik (59-14-1, 8-5 CEU, +160) vs. Chris Daukaus (10-3, 2-0 CEU, -190)
Middleweight : Phil Hawes (9-2, 1-0 PDU, -125) vs. Nassurdin Imavov (9-2, 1-0 PDU, +105
)Heavyweight: Andrei Arlovski (30-19-1 NC, 18-13-1 NC PDU, +210) vs. Tom Aspinalla (9-2, 2-0 CEU, -260)Featherweight
: Jared Gordon (16-4, 4-3 CEU, +120) vs. Danny Chavez (11-3, 1-0 CEU, -140)Welterweight
: Eddie Wineland (24-14-1, 6-8 CEU, +105) vs. John Castañeda (17-5, 0-1 CEU, -125)
Frequently asked questions
Who won Blades from Lewis?
UFC Fight Night: Derrick Lewis destroys Curtis Blades with a knockout in the second round. Lewis disables Blades with a huge uppercut and scores his 20th win of the season.
Who won the UFC fight tonight?
UFC 258 results, highlights: Kamaru Usman stops Gilbert Burns by TKO to retain welterweight title.
What time is it from Blades to Lewis?
The UFC Fight Night Vegas 19 playoffs begin at 2:00 p.m. PT/5:00 a.m. ET and the main card begins at 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, February 20 and will be broadcast live on ESPN Plus. Fans without a subscription can watch Lewis vs. Blaydes and other fights live on ESPN Plus for less than $6.
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