A lot of the talk leading into this weekend's matchup between Derrick "The Black Beast" Lewis and Curtis "Razor" Blaydes has been: "What happens first?! Derrick Lewis KOs Curtis Blaydes, or Blaydes takes Lewis down and grapplefucks him into a decision?!"
On paper, this is a sorta prototypical battle of styles: the striker in Lewis - who holds the record for most knockouts in UFC heavyweight history with 11 - versus the wrestler in Blaydes - who holds the record for most takedowns in UFC heavyweight history with 45 - so that's why it was such a surprise for many to hear Derrick Lewis reveal a grappling-heavy gameplan in this pre-fight interview! He's a new man, apparently - Derrick "The All-American" Lewis! Hysterical.
I love that they left in the producer trying to get him to give a serious response at the end, too - we kinda get a glimpse into the "real" Derrick Lewis when he says, "No, no! If that's what I wanna do, that's what I wanna do!"
After seeing what just being himself could do for his career after UFC 229....
...Derrick Lewis has no reason to listen to anybody tell him how to promote himself ever again.
As far as my thoughts on the fight - I really feel like it could go either way, but I'm inclined to side with Curtis "Razor" Blaydes....
Blaydes' wrestling is phenomenal, and after watching Lewis get ankle-picked in the octagon against Daniel Cormier a few years ago, I don't have a ton of faith in him to be able to stop that attack.
At the same time, Lewis has an impeccable ability to just stand up after being put on his back, which nobody seems to understand….
….so he may just decide to get up at some point and knock Blaydes out. Who the hell knows. You can't predict this stuff.
Should be a fun fight!