At UFC Vegas 19, Curtis Blaydes will occupy the main event slot against Derrick Lewis. Blaydes and Lewis are polar opposites in just about every way two people could be. Blaydes is hard-nosed, all business, and straightforward in his personality as well as his wrestling-heavy approach. Meanwhile, Lewis is one of the most eccentric characters in the UFC who always looks to score the KO.
Curtis Blaydes Questions Derrick Lewis’ Commitment to MMA
One thing these two competitors do have in common is that they are both ranked within the top 5 at heavyweight and have proven to be among the elite in the division. But even though Lewis is currently ranked #4 in the world and has a decade of experience, seven of which coming in the UFC, Blaydes still does not believe Lewis is fully taking the sport seriously, not because of the jokes and antics on camera, but due to the lack of discipline off camera.
“I don’t think he puts in the work,” Blaydes said in a recent interview with ESPN. “And I don’t think he respects the game the way I do, ’cause I’ve seen in a couple of interviews — he works out once or twice a week. I don’t know if that was because he had a back injury or if that’s just like a preference thing, but I just don’t think he’s putting in the work to be great that a lot of other guys are putting in to be great.
“I’m putting in that work and I see a lot of guys at Elevation (Fight Team). I see the type of work that’s needed to be great,” Bladyes said. “I watch (Justin) Gaethje, I watch (Kamaru) Usman, I watch Neil Magny like — I don’t think he’s working like that. I’m working like that; I don’t think he’s working like that.“
Derrick Lewis does indeed have a history of making comments that make him appear to be indifferent about training, but for what it’s worth, whatever he’s doing has clearly been beneficial for him up to this point in his career. Plus, with Lewis’s deadpan sense of humor, there’s never really any telling if he is trolling when he makes comments that indicate he sees training as an afterthought or if he is being sincere.
When it comes to the live action, though, everyone knows to expect: Derrick Lewis is coming to take your head off. And sometimes there isn’t anything even a fighter with the optimal preparation can do to avoid The Black Beast from taking home another trophy.
Do you agree with Curtis Blaydes? Does Derrick Lewis lack the proper commitment and dedication to the sport of MMA?