HEAVYWEIGHT FINISHERS CLASH AS
(#2) CURTIS BLAYDES AND (#4) DERRICK LEWIS BATTLE AT UFC® APEX IN LAS VEGAS
UFC® continues its run of events in Las Vegas with a classic grappler versus striker matchup of heavyweight finishers as No. 2 ranked contender Curtis Blaydes and No. 4 Derrick Lewis look to make their cases for the next shot at the UFC heavyweight belt. Also on the card, former UFC light heavyweight title challenger and No. 6 ranked Anthony Smith steps in on short notice to take on Devin Clark.
Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC, fighting out of Chicago, Ill.) plans to cement himself as the next contender for the belt with another dominant performance. Despite only being 29 years old, he already holds the record for most takedowns in UFC heavyweight history, which he earned with statement wins over Alistair Overeem, Mark Hunt and Junior Dos Santos. Blaydes now intends to show off his ever-growing skill set by snapping Lewis’ win streak and making a statement to the rest of the division.
Fan favourite Lewis (24-7, 1 NC, fighting out of Houston, Texas) crowned himself as the greatest knockout artist in UFC heavyweight history in his last bout after landing a record-setting 11th KO by besting Aleksei Oleinik. A former boxer under the tutelage of George Foreman, Lewis holds additional impressive finishes over Alexander Volkov, Travis Browne and Gabriel Gonzaga. He now aims to secure another shot at the title by becoming only the second person to stop Blaydes.
Former light heavyweight title challenger Smith (33-16, fighting out of Omaha, Neb.) proves that he will compete against anyone, anywhere, at any time by stepping in on short notice against rising prospect Clark. A longtime middleweight standout with 30 of his 33 wins coming by finish, Smith quickly rose up the light heavyweight ranks with defining stoppages over Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua and Volkan Oezdemir. He now seeks to secure his first victory of 2020 with a vintage performance.
Clark (12-4, fighting out of Sioux Falls, S.D.) looks to make 2020 his most successful year to date by clinching his third victory against the toughest opponent of his career. A product of the first season of Dana White: Looking for a Fight, Clark has found his footing in the UFC with back-to-back wins over Dequan Townsend and Alonzo Menifield. Clark now has his sights set on earning his first promotional finish against Smith and breaking into the rankings.
Additional bouts on the card include:
Exciting lightweight strikers battle when Renato Moicano (14-3-1, fighting out of Brasilia, Brazil) meets Rafael Fiziev (8-1, fighting out of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan by the way of Phuket, Thailand)
Luke Sanders (13-3, fighting out of Nashville, Tenn.) returns to the Octagon after almost two years to take on Nate Maness (12-1, fighting out of Henderson, Ky.) in a 140-pound catchweight bout
Flyweight action sees Amir Albazi (12-1, fighting out of Alperton, England, United Kingdom) square off with Zhalgas Zhumagulov (13-4, fighting out of Aktobe, Kazakhstan)
Martin Day (8-4, fighting out of Kailua, Hawaii) and Anderson Dos Santos (20-8, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) seek to secure their first UFC wins at bantamweight
Rising welterweight strikers Miguel Baeza (9-0, fighting out of Davie, Fla.) and Takashi Sato (16-4, fighting out of Tokyo, Japan) vie to steal the show with an impressive performance
Su Mudaerji (11-4, fighting out of Chengdu, Sichuan, China) has his sights set on delivering a dominant performance in his flyweight debut against Malcolm Gordon (12-3, fighting out of Markham, Ontario, Canada)
In a clash of heavyweights looking to make a statement, Josh Parisian (13-3, fighting out of Howell, Mich.) battles Parker Porter (10-6, fighting out of West Hartford, Conn.)
Ashlee Evans-Smith (6-4, fighting out of Santa Ana, Calif.) plans to keep Norma Dumont (4-1, fighting out of Belo Horizonte, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil) from claiming her first UFC win at bantamweight
Entertaining featherweights Spike Carlyle (9-2, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.) and Bill Algeo (13-5, fighting out of King of Prussia, Pa.) compete to bounce back into the win column
Gina Mazany (5-4, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) aims to spoil the Octagon return of Rachael Ostovich (4-5, fighting out of Waianae, Hawaii) at flyweight