Curtis Blaydes recently revealed his gameplan for the Derrick Lewis fight in an interview with Ariel Helwani of ESPN MMA. Curtis Blaydes made no secret of the fact that he is going to choose a cautious wrestling-heavy approach instead of going into an all-out slugfest against 'The Black beast'. Curtis Blaydes will look to secure a win using his technical prowess instead of entering a bloodbath to entertain the audience.
Curtis Blaydes is currently the No. 2 heavyweight contender while Derrick Lewis sits at No. 4. With both fighters closing in on the title shot, the winner of the contest will be in prime position for a shot against the winner of the Stipe Miocic-Francis Ngannou fight later in 2021.
However, the situation has become complciated with Jon Jones in the picture. UFC president Dana White has previously announced the ex-light heavyweight champion will make his divisional debut against the winner of Miocic-Ngannou.
Curtis Blaydes will fall back on his wrestling
According to BetMGM, Curtis Blaydes enters the fight as a healthy -350 favorite while Derrick Lewis stands at +280. Curtis Blaydes is on a four-fight winning streak coming into fight night with his latest victory coming from a five-round beatdown of Alexander Volkov.
Derrick Lewis dropped a bout to Junior Dos Santos in 2019 after losing his title shot against Daniel Cormier in 2018. Since then he has been on a three-fight win streak with the TKO of submission ace Aleksei Oleinik in August 2020 being his most recent triumph.
Curtis Blaydes currently holds the UFC record for the most takedowns landed in a heavyweight fight and will certainly look to use his wrestling to make a difference in the fight. Prior to his fight against Alexander Volkov, Curtis Blaydes had declared that he planned to fight the Russian conservatively and heavily rely on his wrestling. Like the Volkov fight, we can expect Curtis 'Razor' Blaydes to stick to his gameplan against Derrick Lewis even if it earns him some criticism.
A former National Wrestling Champion, Curtis Blaydes certainly has the strength and skill to control Derrick Lewis on the ground. This will come as no shock to Derrick Lewis, who will probably look to connect with a devastating right hand to end the fight.