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Central figures in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s heavyweight division, Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis will collide in the UFC Fight Night 185 main event this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Their five-round confrontation carries significant implications in terms of weight-class pecking order.
Blaydes has rattled off four consecutive victories since his ill-fated rematch with Francis Ngannou in 2018. The Elevation Fight Team representative last competed at UFC on ESPN 11, where he took a five-round unanimous decision from former Bellator MMA and M-1 Global champion Alexander Volkov in their June 20 headliner. Lewis, meanwhile, enters the cage with the wind of a three-fight winning streak in his sails. He last appeared under the UFC Fight Night 174 marquee on Aug. 8, when he cut down Alexey Oleynik with second-round punches.
As Blaydes and Lewis tie up whatever loose ends remain, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
30: Years of age for Blaydes, who was born in Naperville, Illinois, on Feb. 18, 1991. Whitney Houston’s “All the Man That I Need” was the No. 1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100 List at the time.
808: Total strikes landed by Blaydes since he joined the UFC roster in 2016, placing him seventh among active heavyweights. Only Stipe Miocic (1,525), Andrei Arlovski (1,331), Junior dos Santos (1,217), Marcin Tybura (1,108), Alistair Overeem (942) and the aforementioned Volkov (901) have connected with more.
10: Blaydes wins by knockout or technical knockout, accounting for 71% of his career total. His list of victims includes dos Santos, Overeem, Oleynik and Shamil Abdurakhimov. Blaydes’ four other victories resulted in unanimous decisions.
14: Takedowns completed by Blaydes in his unanimous decision over Volkov, setting a new career-high and UFC heavyweight record in the category. He had reached double figures in takedowns once previously, executing 10 of them in a February 2018 decision win over former K-1 World Grand Prix winner Mark Hunt.
102: Seconds needed for Blaydes to put away Lorenzo Hood in his professional debut under the Xtreme Fighting Organization banner on May 31, 2014. It remains the fastest finish of his 17-fight career.
36: Years of age for Lewis, who was born in New Orleans on Feb. 7, 1985. “Beverly Hills Cop,” in its 10th week of release, was the No. 1 movie at the domestic box office at the time.
11: Lewis finishes inside the Octagon, tying him with Arlovski, Gabriel Gonzaga and Stefan Struve for second on the UFC’s all-time list among heavyweights. Only Frank Mir (13) has more.
6: Post-fight bonuses banked by Lewis across his 20 appearances in the UFC. He has been awarded “Fight of the Night” and “Performance of the Night” three times each, resulting in $300,000 of additional income.
.671: Cumulative winning percentage between the six men—dos Santos, Hunt, Shawn Jordan, Tony Johnson , Matt Mitrione and Daniel Cormier—who have managed to defeat Lewis. They own a combined record of 102-48-2.
7: First-round stoppage victories on the Lewis resume, providing him with 29% of his professional total. Only one of them was of the sub-minute variety, as he wiped out Jay Peche with punches 46 seconds into their Sept. 3, 2011 encounter inside the Immortal Kombat Fighting promotion.
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