Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Curtis Blaydes Sees No Need To Hide Game Plan from Derrick Lewis

UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes sees absolutely no need to keep his cards close to the vest ahead of his February 20 headliner against Derrick Lewis.

When Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis face off in the main event on February 20, fans will be treated to the quintessential grappler vs. striker matchup. Curtis Blaydes is known for his suffocating grappling and relentless ground-and-pound while Derrick Lewis is known for his knockouts. Well, he’s also known for going off the cuff with viral post-fight remarks, but that’s a separate matter…

As someone who competes with a high fight IQ, Curtis Blaydes is well aware that Derrick Lewis, the fans, and practically anyone who has watched these men compete can take a stab at what their game plans will be. For Lewis, he will look to knock Curtis Blaydes out the same way he does every opponent he’s ever faced. As for Blaydes, he decided to break down what his strategy will be quite explicitly with no concern for if the Derrick Lewis camp knows about it.

“I envision him either coming out aggressively and me taking him down immediately,” Curtis Blaydes said to James Lynch of Line Movement. “Or, him kind of being more of a counter striker and him slowly going back towards the cage with his back heels. Then, me just walking him down and getting to his hips and rinse and repeat until he breaks.”

The last time Derrick Lewis faced a high-level wrestler was against national Greco-Roman wrestling champion Ilir Latifi at UFC 247. Lewis was able to win that fight by unanimous decision. However, Lewis did not have this same luck when he faced wrestling great Daniel Cormier at UFC 230, who outwrestled Lewis until ultimately winning the bout via rear-naked choke. It’s apparent that Curtis Blaydes expects to have an outcome that much closely mirrors the Cormier/Lewis fight.

Curtis Blaydes most recently competed in June with a unanimous-decision victory over Alexander Volkov. Derrick Lewis’ last outing was a win over grappling great Aleksei Oleinik in August.

Do you think Curtis Blaydes’s fight against Derrick Lewis will play out how Blaydes envisions it will?

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