Surging UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes has accepted the challenge from former heavyweight title challenger Derrick Lewis.
UFC on ESPN+ 32 card this weekend featured a classic striker vs. grappler heavyweight bout as Lewis took on Russian veteran Aleksei Oleinik. Lewis entered the octagon with a sizeable 40-pound advantage and he made it quite evident as he ran through Oleinik via second-round TKO.
‘The Black Beast’ extended his impressive winning streak to three. Speaking in the post-fight conference, Lewis was asked as to who would he like to fight next. He was quick to mention Blaydes as an opponent for his next fight along with Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou. (via BJPENN.com):
“Curtis Blaydes makes sense. Ngannou makes sense. Overeem makes sense. That’s just about it. We’ll just see what happens next week and see who else makes sense after that match (Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3),” he said.
Blaydes did not waste any time responding to the callout as he accepted the challenge with a message posted on his social media. (via Twitter):
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) August 9, 2020
Lewis vs. Blaydes is the fight to make!
Lewis is on an impressive three-fight winning streak. What makes his streak even more impressive is that all of his three wins came against elite level grapplers, despite grappling being his relatively weak link. After losing against former champ Junior Dos Santos back in March last year, he has racked up impressive wins over former WSOF champ Blagoy Ivanov, light heavyweight contender Ilir Latifi and now Oleinik.
‘The Black Beast’ has also made a lot of improvements primarily in his physique compared to his earlier fights. He has visibly leaned out, which has benefitted him in preserving his gas tank. A fight against another high-level wrestler like Blaydes would make sense.
Blaydes, on the other hand, is on an impressive four-fight winning streak of his own. However, his previous fight against Alexander Volkov has been a subject of criticism. Despit winning a lopsided decision over Volkov, Blaydes was having problems in finishing the fight which made the fight uneventful and a bit boring for the general eye.
A win over Lewis would definitely help him put all those doubts to rest.