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UFC Vegas 19: Blaydes vs Lewis Preview



UFC Vegas 19: Blaydes vs Lewis Preview

UFC Vegas 19 takes place on Saturday in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas as heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis lock horns in a potential title eliminator.

Blaydes is one of the top heavyweight fighters on the planet, and if it wasn’t for Francis Ngannou, he would still be undefeated. Lewis, on the other hand, is a fighting veteran in his prime but is a sizable underdog ahead of his main event clash with Blaydes, but he has a habit of overcoming the odds.

Elsewhere on the main card, Ketlen Vieira faces Yana Kunitskaya in a bantamweight contest in the co-main event, featherweights Charles Rosa and Darrick Minner go head-to-head, Aleksei Oleinik and Chris Daukaus battle in another heavyweight fight on the main card, and former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski looks to improve to three wins in a row against Tom Aspinall.

Curtis Blaydes vs Derrick Lewis

Blaydes is a sizable favorite, thanks to his unmatched wrestling prowess at heavyweight. His dominant performances against Alexander Volkov, Junior dos Santos, and Alistair Overeem are proof of his incredible grappling skills, which Lewis will have to deal with come Saturday night.

But Lewis is a tricky campaigner, who has wins over some of the biggest names in the UFC heavyweight division. He has got a tremendous amount of power in his hands and is definitely a better striker than Blaydes, but his conditioning and wrestling aren’t promising, especially against a fighter like Curtis Blaydes. Lewis has got a puncher’s chance, but if he fails to stuff the takedowns, it’s going to be a long night for him.

Ketlen Vieira vs Yana Kunitskaya

Contrary to the popular belief that Amanda Nunes is untouchable, both Ketlen Vieira and Yana Kunitskaya believe that they have what it takes to beat the bantamweight queen. At UFC Vegas 19, they have their chance to make a statement.

Vieira is 4-1 in her last five fights, while Kunitskaya is 3-2, and both are sitting just outside the top five. With crisp striking and great grappling, Vieira is a well-rounded fighter. In contrast, Kunitskaya is a fine striker with a Muay Thai background, but her grappling is a huge question mark in this fight. Vieira has also faced tougher competition in her UFC career, so Kunitskaya doesn’t offer something ‘Fenomeno’ hasn’t seen before. All in all, Vieira has a better chance of winning the fight.

Charles Rosa vs Darrick Minner

Since joining the UFC as a 9-0 undefeated featherweight, Rosa has lost 4 out of his 8 fights. He has never won two in a row, so he would be looking to shake things up a bit. But he’s up against a tough newcomer.

Darrick Minner (25-11) joined the UFC last year and has a 1-1 record in the promotion. Both fighters are great grapplers, making it an interesting fight, and also a very close one to call.

While Minner has more fights under his belt, Rosa’s experience in the UFC gives him the edge on the night. The fight could go either way.

Alexey Oleinik vs Chris Daukaus

Alexey Oleinik is as old school as they come. He has over 70 MMA fights under his belt, with 59 wins. In comparison, Chris Daukaus is relatively new to the sport, with 13 fights on his resume. Daukaus also recently made his successful debut in the UFC, knocking out Rodrigo Nascimento Ferreira in only 45 seconds.

Daukaus is a knockout artist and has won nine out of his 10 fights through stoppage. However, Oleinik has tons of experience. He is 8-5 in the UFC, but most of his losses have come against top-tier fighters. Oleinik is a slow starter, while Daukaus is extremely explosive, and on the feet, the UFC newcomer has the advantage, but the Ukrainian’s ground game would be key at UFC Vegas 19.

Andrei Arlovski vs Tom Aspinall

At 42, Andrei Arlovski is looking to pile up some impressive wins to challenge for the title once again, but his house of cards could come crashing down if he makes even the tiniest of mistakes at UFC Vegas 19.

Arlovski has two wins in a row, but he is surely a shadow of his past self, whereas Aspinall is only getting started. All of the Brit’s nine career wins have come by the way of first-round knockout, therefore, Arlovski will have to be extremely cautious in the opening minutes.

Arlovski is surely going to test the young and hungry Brit, but Aspinall’s power and speed could prove to be too much on the night.

Other Fights On The Card

  • Phil Hawes vs Nassourdine Imavov
  • Pat Sabatini vs Rafael Alves
  • Jared Gordon vs Danny Chavez
  • Drakkar Klose vs Luis Peña
  • Eddie Wineland vs John Castañeda
  • Nate Landwehr vs  Julian Erosa
  • Shana Dobson vs Casey O’Neill
  • Chas Skelly vs  Jamall Emmers
  • Aiemann Zahabi vs Drako Rodriguez
  • Sergey Spivak vs Jared Vanderaa

What are your predictions for UFC Vegas 19?

Yeshel Asif is an MMA journalist based in Pakistan. In his relatively young career, he has worked remotely for Asian Persuasion MMA, MMA Betz, and Fight Booth.