UFC FIGHT NIGHT Blaydes vs Lewis Preview

By DJ Stewart, co-host of the High Low Sports Podcast (@High_Low_Sports)

Main Event, Curtis Blaydes vs Derrick Lewis

With the heavyweight title rematch set between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou for next month, and Jon Jones expected to face the winner, this fight is virtually for the next #1 contender.

Curtis Blaydes is on a 4 fight win streak since losing to Francis for the second time. The wrestle-centric heavyweight has a couple TKO victories on his resume during the stretch, including a second round stoppage of former Champion Junior Dos Santos.

Derrick Lewis is on a 3 fight win streak since losing to Junior Dos Santos in March of last year. Lewis is known for what he calls “swangin and bangin”, and has used to that style to pick up 20 stoppages in 24 victories.

This fight can most simply be broken down to, does Lewis land his shot, and can Lewis stop Blaydes' take-downs? Lewis is one of the best power punchers in the division, and his top ground and pound power is terrifying. Blaydes' chain-wrestling for a heavyweight is among the best in the division, and his stand-up is vastly improved.

My guess is this one looks a lot like when Derrick Lewis fought Daniel Cormier, but a bit more dragged out.

Prediction: Blaydes wins by Unanimous decision.

Co-Main event, Ketlen Viera vs Yana Kunitskaya

A battle of two top ten women’s bantamweights, with potential title implications on the line. Viera enters the fight 11-1, and coming off a bounce back win following her first career loss. Kunitskaya is 3-2 in her last 5, with the losses coming to top tier competition in Chris Cyborg and Aspen Ladd.

This is very much like a 2021 version of “striker vs grappler”. Viera is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black belt, while Kunitskaya is primarily a stand-up fighter. I expect Viera will be able to implement her game, and control the fight.

Prediction: Viera wins by 3rd round submission.

Remaining Fight Predictions below:

Charles Rosa vs Darrick Minner Prediction: Rosa wins by Unanimous decision

Aleksei Oleinik vs Chris Daukaus Prediction: Oleinik wins by 1st round submission

Phillip Hawes vs Nassourdine Imavov Prediction: Imavov wins by 2nd round TKO

Andrei Arlovski vs Tom Aspinall Prediction: Aspinall wins by 2nd round KO

Rafael Alves vs Pat Sabatini Prediction: Sabatini by 1st round submission

Jared Gordon vs Danny Chavez Prediction: Gordon wins by Split decision

Drakkar Klose vs Luis Pena Prediction: Klose wins by Unanimous decision

Eddie Wineland vs John Castaneda Prediction: Castaneda by 2nd round TKO

Nate Landwehr vs Julian Erosa Prediction: Erosa wins by 3rd round TKO

Shana Dobson vs Casey O’Neill Prediction: O’Neill wins by Unanimous decision

Chas Skelly vs Jamall Emmers Prediction: Skelly wins by 2nd round Submission

Aiemann Zahabi vs Drako Rodriguez Prediction: Rodriquez wins by 1st round TKO

Serghei Spivac vs Jared Vanderaa Prediction: Spivac wins by 1st round submission