UFC Fight Night Takeaways


Image Courtesy of Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Connor Reid, Staff Writer

UFC Fight Night: Blades Vs. Lewis took place this past Saturday at the UFC Apex center in Las Vegas. The main card of 6 fights was very Heavyweight oriented with 3 Heavyweight bouts all ending early by stoppage. First heavyweight fight of the night showed a former Heavyweight Champion in Arlovski taking on a surging up and coming heavyweight challenger Aspinall. The first round featured a back-and-forth striking battle with a few clinches thrown in with both challengers looking great and holding ground. Round 2 was completely different.

The round began with a short exchange of strikes until Aspinall shot a fast takedown forcing Arlovski to fall back against the fence, from here Aspinall quickly locked up a rear naked choke to get a round 2 submission. The next heavyweight fight was MMA veteran Oleinik Vs Daukaus who is another rising heavyweight contender. This was a short fight that only really consisted of Oleinik trying to clinch and takedown or submit Daukaus. Daukaus was able to nullify every takedown and submission threat that Oleinik attempted and chose to merely punch and elbow Oleinik leading to a quick first round TKO finish over Oleinik.

The last heavyweight fight of the night was the Main event Blades Vs. Lewis. This was a very interesting matchup as Blades is a very wrestling oriented fighter that looks to take down fighters and ground and pound them. Lewis is a striker with one punch knockout power that can end a fight at any moment. Going into this fight Blades was 14-2 only losing 2 fights to another power striker like Lewis named Ngannou. Lewis coming into this wight had a record of 25-7, with one no contest, having a win over the only man to beat Blades. Despite Blades having a bad track record against power punchers like Lewis, he was the -450 favorite and expected to get a decisive victory over Lewis.

The first round was completely on the feet mainly consisting of Blades Utilizing takedown faints to try to get Lewis to drop his hands so that Blades could throw some overhand punches. Blades also attacked Lewis’ legs heavily in the first round to try to weaken them and get easier takedowns. Lewis spent the first round mainly only counter punching and waiting for Blades to shoot a takedown. Both fighters landed heavy punches, but it was Blades who took the first round landing more strikes and having plenty of leg kicks. Going into the second round Blades kept the same plan for the first minute until he decided that he had done enough work on Lewis legs and tricking him with faints to get a take down. Blades shot for a takedown and was met with a beautifully placed uppercut from Lewis. This knocked out Blades immediately and fell to the mat on his side out cold. Lewis followed up with two more brutal punches before the referee was finally able to intervene, Giving Lewis a 2nd round Knockout.

The Fallout from this main event saw Lewis become the 2nd ranked Heavyweight behind Ngannou who will be challenging Miocic later this year for the Heavyweight championship. It is likely that Lewis either will wait for the Winner of the Ngannou and Miocic to fight Jones, a fight that the UFC has expressed interest in. This means that the UFC will shelf him until the title scene is sorted, or have him fight 6th ranked heavyweight Overeem, who Lewis called out in the post-fight press conference.

Besides the heavyweights, there were 3 other main card fights that ended in a decision where Kunitskaya def. Vieira, Minner def. Rosa, and Hawes def. imavov. Overall, this was a great night for the heavyweight division which has often been plagued with having a small talent pool to pull from. This card showed that there is aa new name in Lewis that can be thrown in the hat for title contention, and 2 new heavyweights that can pose as new contenders to the ranking.