Curtis Blaydes has opened up on his loss to Derrick Lewis. Addressing the vicious KO loss, Blaydes asserted that he still believes he doesn’t have ‘a glass jaw’.
The heavyweight bout between Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis was initially scheduled to transpire at UFC Vegas 15 (November 28th, 2020). However, Blaydes was coerced to withdraw from the event after testing positive for COVID-19.
The fight was subsequently rescheduled, and the duo met at UFC Vegas 19 (February 20th, 2021). The fight witnessed Derrick Lewis defeat Curtis Blaydes via second-round KO.
Speaking to James Lynch on Low Kick MMA, Curtis Blaydes addressed concerns regarding whether his chin – his ability to take a strike – has been compromised. Blaydes insinuated that the concerns are unfounded and that he is indeed durable:
“He (Derrick Lewis) was the better fighter that night. But in no way do I think he’s better than me. Like, nine out of ten times, I think I smash him. I think, he just, he got me.
“He zigged, and I zagged. And it was just a perfect combination – Because I don’t believe I have a glass jaw. I don’t believe, even after this.
“It’s not glass. It doesn’t happen to me often. It just, it was a perfect, perfect storm. And props to him because he knew the uppercut had to land or it would’ve been a long, long evening for him. So, he obviously must have drilled that. And all that drilling paid off. So, props to him.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Curtis Blaydes emphasized that he’s still a better fighter than Derrick Lewis. That said, Blaydes also praised Lewis for capitalizing on the opening and landing a thunderous uppercut.
The Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis matchup ended in a scary KO
Widely regarded as one of the best grapplers in the UFC heavyweight division today, Curtis Blaydes was on the cusp of potentially earning a title shot with a win over Derrick Lewis. Many in the MMA community expected Blaydes to utilize his outstanding grappling skills to take the fight to the mat, keep it there, and outwork Lewis.
Nevertheless, Derrick Lewis showcased improved grappling skills of his own during their fight at UFC Vegas 19. Lewis then landed a picture-perfect counter uppercut as Blaydes waded in for a takedown in round two. The uppercut put Blaydes out, and he also ate a few follow-up shots before the referee could step in to wave off the fight.
The vast majority of MMA fans and experts opined that the KO was incredibly terrifying to watch, as Curtis Blaydes was out cold. Add to that the fact that Derrick Lewis is known as a bona fide KO artist, and fans and experts alike were rightfully concerned for Blaydes’ well-being. Thankfully, Blaydes regained consciousness and set forth on the road to recovery.