UFC Vegas 19 sees the MMA leaders showcase some of the best heavyweight talent around across a glamourous card in the soon-to-be manic division as the second-ranked heavyweight Curtis Blaydes meets the number four ranked Derrick Lewis in a vital showdown.
Blaydes has been on a rampage in the heavyweight division since he joined in 2016, losing to only the great Francis Ngannou twice throughout his MMA career, winning his last four since the second defeat to the Cameroonian, including impressive wins over Junior dos Santos and Alexander Volkov.
The American has been one of the main contenders since that second Ngannou bout after a wrestling masterclass against Justin Willis in his next fight proving to the world he is still a force to be reckoned with. Blaydes recorded two more TKO/KO wins after defeating Willis, bringing his overall tally to 10 wins via TKO/KO from 14 victories, before showing us another lesson in wrestling against Volkov.
"Razor" is rightfully so the clear favourite at 1/4, and if he is to perform anywhere like he has done post-Ngannou 2, it'll be an easy night at the office for the American. In truth, Lewis proved in his battle with Daniel Cormier a few years back that his wrestling skill is far from elite and when up against a man like Blaydes, there will be only one clear winner in this area of the fight and this bout can be done within the distance, or go the whole way in convincing fashion from the favourite.
On the other hand, Blaydes also possesses a superior gas tank, as he proved when he threw around the giant that is Volkov in his last bout, whilst Lewis, quite infamously, has struggled in the endurance side of MMA. The fight to not go the distance is priced at 2/7, and if you're considering this route, it'll be worth remembering that Blaydes is 4/5 to win via TKO/KO.
Lewis does, however, boast more experience and with that in the heavyweight division, usually comes more knockouts on the resume. "The Black Beast" has 19 of his 24 wins via TKO/KO and he is now priced at 4/1 to win via TKO/KO, and history between these two fighters tells you if Lewis is to win, it'll be in this manner and this manner only. He does, still, have four wins via decision on his record, but given this is a five-round bout against a vastly superior athlete and wrestler, Lewis' 11/1 shot to win on points is completely justified.
Sadly for Blaydes, a win won't mean much for him in the near future, with Ngannou battling Stipe Miocic in March for the title and although he is ranked second in the world already, the arrival of Jon Jones in the division will mean a longer wait for a shot at the gold, regardless.
However, we're going for "Razor" to move to a five-fight win streak and record another TKO/KO win with his power and athletic superiority and wrestling brilliance bound to be the difference on Saturday night.