UFC Vegas 19: Lewis vs Blaydes Fight Picks

Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

 

UFC Vegas 19 is the night of the heavyweights. With three of the five main card fights being of that of the 205lb+ variety, we’re in for an action-packed night. When there are big men and small gloves, more often than not, somebody is going to fall.

Derrick Lewis(+330) vs Curtis Blaydes (-450)

The fanduel odds have Derrick Lewis as an underdog by a very wide margin, perhaps a little too wide. Styles make fights, and with the style of Lewis in contrast to the style of Blaydes, it’s understandable that The Black Beast is the underdog. More known for his heavy hands and aggressive nature on the feet as opposed to his grappling prowess, it’s a tall order to have to deal with a fighter like Blaydes who has an extensive college wrestling background. Blaydes enters this fight riding a four-fight win streak, hoping to extend his streak to five and secure the number one contender spot for when Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou get through with their championship title fight. Lewis enters this contest on a three-fight winning streak.

Blaydes has fantastic entries from all positions, but he especially likes to use the fence to get the takedown. He has the most success when he gets the double leg, forcing his opponents back against the cage, and dumping them on the ground. Which he should be able to do to Lewis pretty handily provided he doesn’t get caught on the way in.

At the end of the day 

Lewis is susceptible to the takedown, especially against a guy like Blaydes who does a great job of ducking under the heat to gain the entry. But something he does well is starting fights with intense aggression, going for the kill early, and putting his opponents on their heels and in immediate danger right from the jump. It’s a risky approach, that often pays off , which is why he is a great fanduel underdog pick for this fight. But Blaydes is a cerebral fighter, knows what to expect, and should be able to avoid the initial danger,keep Lewis grounded and earn the victory as a result.

Pick: Curtis Blaydes 

Ketlen Vieira (-290) vs Yana Kunitskaya (+225)

Ketlen Vieira is a force to be reckoned with. In the lone loss in her professional record in which she was on the receiving end of a devastating knockout loss to Irene Aldana, she was looking fantastic up until she was beaten to the punch. Vieira is a big strong bantamweight with great kickboxing technique and a BJJ base. Yana Kunitskaya is a lifelong martial artist who entered the UFC with a tall order of having to fight Cris Cyborg for the featherweight title. Since that debut, she has gone 3-1 and has looked good in the process. Kunitskaya is well rounded, but a striking base fighter which should make for a fun fight against her counterpart.

At the end of the day  

Kunitskaya has stopped a lot of girls via KO/TKO which is a rarity amongst her division. She also has some diversity amongst her striking combinations and does a good job mixing it up on the feet. But Vieira enters this fight the heavy fanduel favorite to win for good reason, she is the much bigger and stronger woman and she will be able to muscle her way to the victory. Whether it be from roughing Kunitskaya up along the fence, or wearing on her in the grappling realm to drag out the W.

Pick: Ketlen Vieira

Aleksei Olenik(+148) vs Chris Daukaus(-184)

Chris Daukaus has certainly made a name for himself, kicking off his UFC career with two first-round KO/TKO victories is going to get you a fight with a big name in the heavyweight division in short order. Hence the matchup with the grizzled veteran Aleksei Olenik. Nine of Daukaus’s ten wins come by KO/TKO, and 46 of Oleynik’s 59 wins coming by way of submission. This fight is both a classic striker vs grappler match-up, as well as an experienced guy versus a newcomer match-up.

Daukaus has youth and vigor from the opportunity on his side, he is a big man with great boxing skills. Lots of big crosses and three and four point combinations have brought him great success throughout his career. However, he has yet to fight against anyone that is the caliber of opponent that Olenik. 

At the end of the day  

The old dog still has a lot of runway left to his career should he decide to avail of it. With plenty of submissions in his arsenal, including his patented Ezekiel choke from his back. It’s Olenik for the fanduel underdog win all day. The experience and the expertise is going to be too much for Daukaus.

Pick: Aleksei Olenik

Andrei Arlovksi(+210) vs Tom Aspinall(-265)

Much like the matchup between Olenik and Daukaus, we have ourselves an old guard versus a new guard with the fight between the uber-experienced Andeir Arlovski and the newcomer Tom Aspinall. There have been numerous times that people have been calling for Arlovski to hang up the gloves dating as far as back as 2013. But through various ups and downs since that time, The Pitbull comes into his 52nd professional MMA fight riding a two-fight win streak, looking to make it three. Aspinall is in for the biggest fight of his career that he rightfully earned after earning two first-round KO/TKO wins to kick off his UFC run.

At the end of the day  

Aspinall is a big strong aggressive heavyweight with decently fast hands, clean boxing, and great striking defense acumen. Fanduel his him a pretty significant favorite to win, which makes Arlovski a great fanduel underdog pick. While Aspinall may have motivation and youth on his side, he’s yet to fight anyone of Arlovski’s level, not even close. It doesn’t mean that he can’t best the former Heavyweight champion, it’s just an unlikely occurrence at this juncture. 

Pick: Andrei Arlovski

Stylistically the main event Blaydes’s fight to lose, but the sheer aggression and punching power that Lewis brings to the table gives him the ability to spark any individual that stands before him. Making the marquee fight one intriguing affair. 

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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