UFC Fight Night | Blaydes vs. Lewis Fight Picks

PHOTO: Kelly Ross-USA TODAY Sport

 

The consensus is that Francis Ngannou should be the next in line to challenge the champion Stipe Miocic. But aside from Ngannou, it’s both Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis who occupy the top of the heavyweight rankings. If there is one thing fans of this sport know, is that nothing is written in stone. Headlining title fights are changed on a whim all of the time. One impressive win can alter all the UFC’s plans, if it’s impressive enough. The stage is set for Curtis Blaydes vs Derrick Lewis, an opportunity for someone to steal the spotlight. 

Curtis Blaydes(-325) vs. Derrick Lewis(+250)

Understandably, Curtis Blaydes would be the betting favorite over Derrick Lewis. Blaydes has been very consistent throughout his UFC career, and the performances he has put on during this four-fight winning streak instills a lot of confidence in the oddsmakers at Fanduel . Out of his 14 professional wins, the wrestling based fighter has won by KO/TKO 10 times. With wins on his record over the likes of Alistair Overeem, Junior Dos Santos, and Alexander Volkov, Blaydes is no stranger to fighting the highest level of competition. His takedown ability is amongst the very best in the heavyweight division, as is his ground and pound. Given the body types the positions Lewis often finds himself in, it’s also possible that we see a high amplitude slam or two out of Blaydes. 

It’s common knowledge amongst the fanbase that Lewis doesn’t have the most impressive grappling pedigree you’ll come across. But what’s also common knowledge about Lewis is that he has the “x-factor” of having god-given, unimaginable punching power, and he keeps that power all fight long. Regardless of the damage absorbed, if Lewis is standing, you’re in danger. It makes sense that Lewis is the underdog, but given how much of a game-changer his power is, it should be by a lesser margin. It’s true that if he gets on his back against a guy like Blaydes, he is going to have problems. But we’ve seen Lewis get up after being taken down a lot more as of late. Since he has returned from back surgery, the Black Beast has been looking stronger than ever. He likely gets taken down, but not unlikely that he can get back to his feet. 

At The End Of The Day  

Blaydes is no slouch in the striking department, but it’s no secret where he wants this fight to take place. While he will stand with Lewis at certain points during this fight, he is smart enough to avoid trying to box with him. Blaydes will look for the perfect entry to duck under the wild swings of Lewis, and enter the grappling realm. Taking this fight down to the ground, and stopping it inside the distance.

Pick: Curtis Blaydes

Anthony Smith(-132) vs. Devin Clark(+108)

When in top form, Anthony Smith is one of the toughest outings for any light heavyweight on the roster. But it’s hard to ignore how flat Smith has looked in his most recent performances. After taking a prolonged beating from Teixeira in May, only to put on an uninspired performance against Aleksandar Rakic in August, you have to wonder if Smith has taken enough time off. Aside from enduring tremendous damage in his past two fights, he also endured a horrific home invasion attempt that you have to think severely affected him mentally and physically. Devin Clark is a fighter that is quite possibly entering the peak of his fighting prime. With a two-fight win streak, Clark finds himself with an opportunity to earn the biggest win of his career.

At the end of the day 

Smith has had 3 and 4 fight losing streaks in the past and has come out of to go on a good run. He is an efficient striker that is extremely tough, has a high output and good accuracy. Clark is much the same as Smith in this regard, minus the same level of killer instinct. But the time at which these two are passing in their careers has Clark poised to earn the decision victory. 

Pick: Devin Clark

Renato Moicano(+100) vs. Farel Fiziev(-122)

In an age in MMA where the vast majority of fighters are well-rounded complete mixed martial artists, it’s always enjoyable to see a classic striker vs grappler. This is exactly with the contest between Moicano and Fiziev will be. Despite being the far more experienced fighter, having fought the highest level of competition against the likes of Jose Aldo, Jeremy Stephens, Brian Ortega, and Chang Sung Jung. Moicano enters this fight the fanduel betting underdog against the far less experienced striker, Rafel Fiziev. Before entering the UFC, all of Fiziev’s victories came by way of a stoppage. While he hasn’t had the finishing tough since signing with the show, he is coming off against an incredible fight against a very dangerous Marc Diakiese that saw him take home fight of the night honors. 

At the end of the day    

Fiziev has a diverse tool belt in the striking game, he does a very good job of mixing up his kicks, knees, and punches. He set things up and is without question the more superior striker than Moicano. But while he mixes it up well, he also takes risks that against a grappler like Mociano, you can’t get away with. If Moicano can stay out of trouble early, he will create an opportunity to take the fight to the ground and maintain octagon control. 

Pick: Renato Moicano  

Miguel Baeza(-188) vs. Takashi Sato (+152)

When you knock out UFC veteran Matt Brown the way Miguel Baseza did in his last fight, there is a very good chance you’ll be the fanduel betting favorite for the next contest. With just two official fights in the UFC under his belt, Baseza has proven to be an action fighter. With his last two fights being canceled, Baseza enters this fight having been waiting a long time for the competition. Takasgi Sato is a relative newcomer to the promotion with three fights under his belt in the promotion chalking up a 2-1 record. Being another fighter who isn’t afraid to spend time in the pocket, this fight is a sleeper candidate for fight of the night. 

At the end of the day

The undefeated Baseza is on course to meet his match someday as he progresses up the ladder, but it won’t be this time around. This is an evenly matched fight technically speaking, and Sato’s record of putting up 11 KO/TKO wins in professional 16 professional fights is something to take note of. But Baeza is lightning fast, has highly effective/damaging leg kicks, and big power in his hands. He has proven he can get dropped, and rally back to earn a big win . His ability to dig deep if need be will be a difference-maker.

Pick: Miguel Basza 

Never count Derrick Lewis out. One of his best qualities is the fact that he keeps his immense power all fight long, no matter how tired he may seem. He also seems to be taking this sport a lot more serious these days, it seems like he has been renewed since returning from back surgery. People forget he wobbled D.C in their fight, and some of the most violent punches he has thrown haven’t even landed. The power that man possesses is truly terrifying, which makes him must-see t.v regardless of the outcome.

Are you ready to make your fight picks? Head over to fanduel and enter the fight night contest for this weekend!

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