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UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis Main Event Picks and Betting Odds

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UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis Main Event Picks and Betting Odds
Curtis Blaydes. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has a jam-packed schedule and this Saturday we are getting what should be a very entertaining fight between Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis. Here’s a complete preview, including updated UFC odds and our betting pick.

Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis

UFC Heavyweight Bout

Saturday, February 20, 2021 – 09:05 PM EST at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas

In the main event of the evening, Curtis Blaydes faces Derrick Lewis. This fight was originally scheduled for November 28th but it was canceled because Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19. UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. A limited number of fans will be in attendance because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With plenty of betting lines and markets currently available, let’s attempt to find some value for our UFC picks on Saturday’s main event.

Curtis Blaydes. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

Curtis Blaydes

Introduction, Background and UFC Career

Curtis Blaydes is a JUCO national champion wrestler out of Harper College in Illinois and he’s already made a mark in the UFC heavyweight division. Blaydes has four straight victories over Justin Willis, Shamil Abdurakhimov, former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and Alexander Volkov. The only two losses of his career were against Francis Ngannou, which is nothing to be ashamed of and he seems destined to win UFC gold one day.

Blaydes’ resume is extremely impressive. He beat former DREAM, Strikeforce and K-1 world champion Alistair Overeem (who is now his training partner) at UFC 225 on June 9th, 2018. He also has wins against veterans Mark Hunt and Alexey Oleynik. Along with his excellent wrestling acumen, Blaydes’ devastating ground-and-pound allows him to finish fights from the top. Blaydes is 9-2-1 in the UFC and while he’s just 29 years old, he’s already a proven veteran inside the cage and he can beat anyone.

  • Born: February 18th, 1991
  • Age: 29
  • Country: United States
  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 255 lbs
  • Reach: 80″
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • Association: Elevation Fight Team
  • Class: Heavyweight
  • Record: 14-2-1

Stats

Method of VictorySignificant StrikesTakedowns
10 wins by KO/TKO3.74 Landed55% Accuracy
0 wins by Submission1.86 Absorbed25% Defended
4 wins by Decision

Octagon Strengths

  • He is a great wrestler with knockout power
  • Hits as hard as any heavyweight
  • Second-most takedowns in heavyweight division history

Octagon Weaknesses

  • Stamina

Derrick Lewis. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

Derrick Lewis

Introduction, Background and UFC Career

The second oldest of seven siblings, raised by a single mother in New Orleans, Louisiana, Lewis was involved in street fighting. At 17 years old, he began training in boxing and prepared for his first amateur fight but the gym unexpectedly shut down. Lewis had some personal issues and was sentenced to five years in prison. He ended up serving three and a half and a week after being released he was introduced to mixed martial arts by a friend. Lewis was working as a tow-truck driver and George Foreman helped him train boxing.

His amateur MMA career began in late 2009. Lewis was 4-1 as a pro before signing with Bellator in May, 2010. "The Black Beast" lost to Tony Johnson via unanimous decision at Bellator 46 on June 25th, 2011 and then went 6-0 with one no contest after leaving Bellator, including winning and successfully defending the Legacy FC Heavyweight Championship. The UFC then signed him and Lewis has wins against Roy Nelson, Travis Browne, Francis Ngannou, Alexander Volkov and Alexey Oleynik. He has faced Mark Hunt, Daniel Cormier and Junior dos Santos and is coming off decision wins against Blagoy Ivanov and Ilir Latifi and a TKO in the second round against Alexey Oleynik at UFC Fight Night 174 on August 8th.

  • Born: February 7th, 1985
  • Age: 35
  • Country: United States
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 264 lbs
  • Reach: 79″
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • Association: Grind House Fitness
  • Class: Heavyweight
  • Record: 24-7-1

Method of VictorySignificant StrikesTakedowns
18 wins by KO/TKO2.53 Landed24% Accuracy
1 win by Submission2.14 Absorbed53% Defended
4 wins by Decision

Octagon Strengths

  • George Foreman was his boxing trainer
  • Has heavy hands
  • Can mix a random high kick into his striking attacks

Octagon Weaknesses

  • Tends to eat shots or lay on his back for long portions of his fights

Prediction

We are getting the classic fight between a striker and a wrestler. Blaydes will try to take the fight to the ground as he knows that if Lewis connects one clean punch this can end right there and then. Lewis is a finisher, a striker with massive power in his hands as evidenced by his 19 knockout wins.

Only four of Lewis' UFC fights went to the judges' scorecards. I see him trying to keep the fight standing so he can find a way to end it with his power punches. A win for either Blaydes or Lewis will keep them in the conversation for an eventual UFC heavyweight title fight, which is one of the reasons why I'm really looking forward to Saturday. I can see the fight reaching the third round.

My Pick: Fight Starts Round 3 -150 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Fight Starts Round 3-150
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