Curtis Blaydes addressed his face-off with Derrick Lewis ahead of their UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis main event matchup. Blaydes also opened up on his fight against Lewis finally coming to fruition after it had previously fallen apart due to COVID-19.
Blaydes was set to face UFC heavyweight mainstay Derrick Lewis in the headlining bout of UFC on ESPN: Blaydes vs. Lewis on November 28th, 2020.
However, just a day before their fight, Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19. Needless to say, the fight was scrapped from that card. And the November 28th, 2020 event was instead headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Anthony Smith and Devin Clark.
The UFC subsequently rebooked the Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis matchup, which is set to serve as the main event of UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis (February 20th, 2021). Speaking to The Schmo, Curtis Blaydes addressed his upcoming fight. Blaydes stated –
“Feeling great, bro. Easy weight cut, obviously. Just happy to finally get this out of the way, after what happened (in) the last one – getting COVID the day of the weigh-ins. Feeling a lot better; we actually got to the weigh-ins this time. Yeah, I think it’s actually going to happen this time.”
Additionally, with regard to celebrating his 30th birthday (February 18th, 2021) cutting weight, Curtis Blaydes said, “It wasn’t ideal because prior to this, I thought I was gonna fight back in November. And then we were already planning on going back home to Chicago, supposed to be home for my birthday, but this ain’t bad. I’m gonna make some money on my birthday, and then we’ll go home next week.”
“I saw determination,” Curtis Blaydes said upon being questioned about what he saw in Derrick Lewis’ eyes at their weigh-in face-off. “He’s going to come out and try to knock my head off. I know that, and I’m prepared for it.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Curtis Blaydes reiterated the confidence he has in his preparedness ahead of his clash against the feared KO artist that is Derrick Lewis.
Curtis Blaydes could earn a UFC heavyweight title shot, albeit with a caveat
A win over Derrick Lewis would help Curtis Blaydes could cement his position as the No. 1 contender in the UFC heavyweight division. However, the caveat is that Blaydes may have to wait until next year (2022) to fight for the UFC heavyweight title.
Reigning UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is set to put his title on the line against Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 (March 27th, 2021). The winner of this fight is then expected to defend the UFC heavyweight title against MMA legend Jon Jones who’ll be making his heavyweight debut later this year.
Should Curtis Blaydes get past Derrick Lewis, Blaydes might have to spend the rest of 2021 on the sidelines and let the aforementioned pair of fights play out before fighting for the title.