One punch was all Derrick Lewis needed to get the victory over Curtis Blaydes. He landed a monstrous uppercut on Blaydes in the second round that resulted in a frightening knockout.
Both fighters were stunned in the opening round by each other with heavy shots that landed. Blaydes seemed to regain control of the round and hit Lewis with heavy leg kicks that hurt Lewis’ mobility at the end of the round.
Lewis closed the show in the second round with an uppercut that Blaydes did not see coming while he shot a takedown attempt on Lewis. Lewis now has a four-fight win streak and he will rise up the rankings in the heavyweight division. Lewis entered the fight as the No. 4 rated heavyweight contender, while Blaydes was the No. 2 ranked heavyweight. Blaydes usually has an easy time taking his opponents down, however, Lewis managed to prevent Blaydes from taking him down.
These two were originally supposed to fight on Nov. 28, 2020 in the UFC Fight Night main event, but the fight was canceled after Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19. It is needless to say that it was well worth the wait for Lewis because he had an extra three months to prepare for Blaydes. With the knockout win, Lewis tied former UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort for the most knockout wins in UFC history, 12.
In the post-fight interview, Lewis discussed his status in the heavyweight division, and he mentioned a few names that he would like to fight. Among those names were Stipe Miocic, Jon Jones, and Alistair Overeem. Lewis told UFC reporter Laura Sanko about his plan for his next fight; “I want to fight Overeem, next.”
Lewis is not necessarily in the immediate championship picture, but he has other interesting fights waiting for him. One potential fight could be against the current No. 3 heavyweight contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik, if Rozenstruik is able to win his bout next Saturday against Ciryl Gane.
In the co-main event, Yana Kunitskaya defeated Ketlen Vieira via unanimous decision. Vieira had control over Kunitskaya in the first-round, but Kunitskaya changed the complexion of the fight with her ground control over the final 10 minutes of the fight. The final round was close, but Kunitskaya edged out Vieira with constant activity.
It was an entertaining night of fights that had several fights canceled from injuries, positive COVID tests, and missed weight cuts. The next Fight Night card will be next week headlined by Rozenstruik vs. Gane.