Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis Reworked For UFC Fight Night 185 on Feb. 20th
By Ross Markey
A heavyweight rescheduling of streaking contender, Curtis ‘Razor’ Blaydes and one-time championship chaser, Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis has been rebooked for a UFC Fight Night 185 event on February 20th. where it will serve as the event’s headliner. As of writing, a location or venue for the event has yet to be determined by the UFC.
Set to take main event status at UFC Vegas 15 in November, the pairing was shelved after Elevation Fight Team mainstay, Lewis provided a positive COVID-19 test result. Lewis was in turn removed from the event entirely, with former 205-pound title challenger, Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith returning to the winner’s enclosure with a first-round triangle win over Devin ‘The Brown Bear’ Clark in a short-notice main event.
The winner of four on the trot, Blaydes picked up two victories in 2020 — knocking back former world champions, Junior dos Santos, and Alexander Volkov at UFC Fight Night Raleigh and UFC Vegas 3, respectively.
Scoring three consecutive victories, Lewis also featured twice in 2020 — first besting Ilir Latifi at UFC 247 in January, before stopping veteran submission-specialist, Aleksei ‘The Boa Constrictor’ Oleinik with strikes in their UFC Vegas 6 headliner in August. With the knockout win, Lewis became the most prolific striker in Octagon heavyweight history. earning his eleventh stoppage via strikes. ESPN MMA reporter, Ariel Helwani was first to report the news of the reworked matchup of Blaydes and Lewis.
Sitting at #2 in the official heavyweight pile, Blaydes is perched just below two-time opponent, Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou. The 29-year-old Illinois native has managed to grab fourteen career wins, besting the likes of the above-mentioned dos Santos, and Volkov, as well as common foe, Oleinik, Mark Hunt, and now teammate, Alistair Overeem to name a few.
The #4 ranked Lewis has also beaten the aforenoted, Volkov, via a hail mary stoppage at UFC 229 in October of 2018, adding to other wins over Blagoy Ivanov, the above mentioned, Ngannou, Marcin Tybura, Travis Browne, Roy Nelson, and Gabriel Gonzaga of note.