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5 most explosive moments from UFC Vegas 19: Curtis Blaydes vs Derrick Lewis

Derrick Lewis picked up the 12th KO of his UFC career in last night
Derrick Lewis picked up the 12th KO of his UFC career in last night's main event.
Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 21 Feb 2021
Top 5 / Top 10
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UFC Vegas 19 didn’t have a lot of hype. But in the end, it turned out to be one of those UFC shows that sees almost ever fight deliver crazy action.

Of the 12 fights at UFC Vegas 19, just four of them went the distance – with the other eight all getting over in a violent fashion. On that note, here are the five most explosive moments from UFC Vegas 19.


#1 Derrick Lewis uncorks the 12th – and maybe the best – KO of his UFC career

Derrick Lewis
Derrick Lewis's KO of Curtis Blaydes was maybe the best of his UFC career.

Early on in last night’s UFC main event, it looked like Derrick Lewis was in trouble.

Curtis Blaydes essentially teed off on him in the first round, using what looked like a fear of his potential takedown to land a bunch of huge strikes on ‘The Black Beast’. Low kicks and heavy punches connected for Blaydes, and it looked like only a matter of time before he ended Lewis’ hopes of a win.

However, you can never count ‘The Black Beast’ out of a UFC fight, and he proved that once again last night.

Early in the second round, ‘Razor’ lunged in for a takedown – only to duck his head directly into a crushing uppercut from Lewis. Blaydes was stiffened up instantly, toppled to the ground, and was knocked further into unconsciousness by two huge follow-up shots.

The knockout was Lewis’s 12th in the UFC – a record for the Heavyweight division. While it likely won’t win him a title shot, it did win him an extra $50,000. Without a doubt, ‘The Black Beast’ remains one of the UFC’s most dangerous men.

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#2 Julian Erosa wastes no time in turning the lights out on Nate Landwehr

Julian Erosa
Julian Erosa's fight with Nate Landwehr was remarkably exciting.

Perhaps the most explosive fight in last night’s UFC card was the Featherweight prelim between Julian Erosa and Nate Landwehr.

Both men came out looking to finish the fight, but within seconds, Erosa had ‘The Train’ hurt with a series of heavy punches. Landwehr came right back and landed a huge shot of his own – dropping Erosa for a moment – but the TUF veteran leapt back to his feet and got right back on it.

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He continued to take the fight to Landwehr. After stunning him with a series of close-range punches, Erosa sealed the deal in 56 seconds with a beautiful flying knee.

Landwehr protested the stoppage, but he was definitely done after just under a minute of pure action.

Erosa somehow missed out on a $50k bonus. But you’d hope that the UFC would’ve given him one of their legendary 'under-the-table' awards anyway. This fight was absolutely fabulous.


#3 Tom Aspinall shows he’s the real deal by taking out Andrei Arlovski

Tom Aspinall was impressive in his win over Andrei Arlovski.
Tom Aspinall was impressive in his win over Andrei Arlovski.

UFC Heavyweight Tom Aspinall had a lot of hype coming into his fight last night with former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski. And by and large, the Liverpool native lived up to that hype.

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Aspinall took the fight to Arlovski in the first round, stunning him with his hand speed. A big combination had ‘The Pitbull’ reeling early on, and for a moment, it looked like the fight was about to be stopped.

Somehow Arlovski survived, showing he’s tougher than a lot of UFC fans make out, but it was only momentary.

The second round saw Aspinall keep his focus. After just over a minute, he tackled ‘The Pitbull’ to the ground, and within seconds, slapped on a rear-naked choke to force him to submit.

That was pretty surprising, especially given Arlovski had only been submitted once previously in his UFC career – by the great Josh Barnett.

Sure, the finish wasn’t as explosive as Aspinall’s previous two, but it was easily his most impressive. Clearly, the sky is the limit for this prospect.


#4 Chris Daukaus surprises Aleksei Oleinik with his punching power

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Chris Daukaus looked excellent in his win over Aleksei Oleinik.
Chris Daukaus looked excellent in his win over Aleksei Oleinik.

When casual UFC fans think about what a professional fighter looks like, the image they possibly conjure up looks something like Francis Ngannou – all muscle and power.

A fighter looking like Chris Daukaus, with his slightly flabby belly, probably wouldn’t come to mind. However, after last night, it’s clear that the Philadelphia-based UFC Heavyweight is almost certainly the real deal.

Daukaus already had two UFC wins by knockout, but last night, he picked up his biggest to date. He stopped longtime UFC contender Aleksei Oleinik with a series of heavy punches in the opening round of their fight.

‘The Boa Constrictor’ was stopped as he was still standing, reeling from the shots. While he wasn’t knocked unconscious, he was clearly done.

Daukaus could be like the modern-day Roy Nelson, as his unathletic frame belies a surprising amount of speed and punching power. After this finish, he’s definitely one to watch out for in the UFC’s Heavyweight division.


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#5 Aiemann Zahabi saves his job by taking a leaf out of Conor McGregor’s book

Timing proved to be the key for Aiemann Zahabi in his win last night.
Timing proved to be the key for Aiemann Zahabi in his win last night.

With the UFC on a cutting spree in recent weeks, Aiemann Zahabi probably had reason to be worried last night. He had lost his last two UFC outings, with his overall record in the Octagon dropping to 1-2.

But facing Drako Rodriguez, Zahabi – the brother of legendary MMA trainer Firas – took a lesson from Conor McGregor's book to pick up his first UFC finish.

McGregor once famously stated that 'precision beats power, and timing beats speed'. And it was clear that Zahabi had something similar in mind last night.

Rodriguez came in aggressively, but Zahabi stayed calm under fire and waited for his moment to strike. And when he did land – with a perfectly-timed right hand – Rodriguez was crumpled.

He hit the ground, landing on his side in a nasty-looking way before two more follow-up shots sealed the deal for Zahabi.

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Is the Canadian likely to move into UFC title contention with the win? Absolutely not, but with this knockout, he claimed a $50k bonus and probably saved his spot on the UFC roster. And in 2021, that’s surely a big deal in itself.

Published 21 Feb 2021, 15:56 IST
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