Curtis Blaydes


September fight booked
June 15, 2021
Blaydes will face Jair Rozenstruik in a heavyweight bout at the UFC event scheduled for Sept. 25, Guilherme Cruz of reports.
Blaydes will be coming in off a loss by knockout to Derrick Lewis in mid-February. It was a disappointment for wrestling-heavy Blaydes, who was riding a five-fight winning streak and was a heavy favorite going into that Lewis bout. Rozenstruik is coming off a TKO against Augusto Sakai in early-June. As is often the case, Blaydes will enter the cage with major height and reach advantages. While the wrestling of Rozenstruik hasn't been tested a ton, he will carry a takedown defense of 80 percent into this matchup.
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Loses via KO to Derrick Lewis
February 20, 2021
Blaydes lost to Derrick Lewis via KO (punch) at 3:41 of Round 2 at UFC Vegas 19 on Saturday.
Blaydes appeared to win Round 1 with his striking, but he was not urgent to try and wrestle. When he decided to go for a takedown in Round 2, Lewis countered with a big uppercut which knocked out Blaydes cold. It was one of the only paths to victory for Lewis, who seemed to have the perfect game plan here. Unfortunately for Blaydes, he's arguably the most talented fighter in the division who has not gotten a title shot. It's worth monitoring how he rebounds.
Enters fight week as big favorite
February 15, 2021
Blaydes enters fight week as approximately a (-400) betting favorite for his heavyweight matchup against Derrick Lewis on Saturday at UFC Vegas 19 on Saturday.
Blaydes has essentially rolled over all competition he's faced so far in the UFC, with the lone exception being a pair of stoppage losses to top contender Francis Ngannou. That puts Blaydes in limbo with respect to a title shot, even if he's able to bring his winning streak to five against Lewis on Saturday. To cash in as the favorite here, Blaydes will likely look to wear Lewis out with high-volume offensive wrestling and control time. This could be a recipe for a high fantasy score, as Lewis is strong enough to make it back to his feet from a takedown, but Blaydes is skilled enough to wash, rinse and repeat. Lewis certainly has the power to catch Blaydes when the two are on the feet, but oddsmakers seem to have confidence in Blaydes fighting the smart fight here. The later this one goes, the more Blaydes would seem to have a cardio advantage, though it is worth noting this fight has been rescheduled in the past after Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19, and the jury is still out on the long-term effects of the virus. While Blaydes was dominant to the tune of 14 takedowns over five rounds his last time in the cage, he has yet to fight since the positive test.
Lewis fight rescheduled
January 4, 2021
Blaydes' scheduled matchup against Derrick Lewis will now take place Feb. 20, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
The pair had been set to face off Nov. 28 before Blaydes was forced to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test. Blaydes will be looking for his fifth straight victory, while Lewis will be looking to win his fourth straight.
Bout versus Lewis canceled
November 27, 2020
Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19 and won't face Derrick Lewis as scheduled in the heavyweight bout at Saturday's UFC event, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Blaydes and Lewis were set to headline Saturday's card, but the positive test will force the promotion to change plans. UFC apparently hopes to reschedule the fight in December, but the logistics for that have yet to be settled.
Headlining UFC event in November
August 18, 2020
Blaydes will face Derrick Lewis in a heavyweight matchup in the main event of the UFC card scheduled for November 28, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Blaydes will be coming off a unanimous decision victory over Alexander Volkov back in June, while Lewis just improved his winning streak to three with a mid-August victory over submission specialist Aleksei Oleinik. The two have yet to cross paths, but this is a matchup that will play a major role in the future trajectory of the top end of the heavyweight division. It's also a matchup that bodes well for Blaydes on paper, as his relentless, wrestling-based attack should play well against the sub-par takedown defense (53 percent) of Lewis. Blaydes also has a higher striking volume, due largely to the significant strikes he's able to rack up once he gets his opponent on their back. Lewis typically avoids this by using his sheer size to get back to his feet, but Blaydes is an opponent that will match this size, weighing in at the top end of the heavyweight limit as well. Only one inch in height and reach separates the two men, with the edge in both categories going to Blaydes. Look for Blaydes to enter as a betting favorite, and if he can get a win in impressive fashion to get his winning streak to five, he could be next in line for a title shot.