UFC Vegas 19: Blaydes vs. Lewis Odds, Schedule, Predictions

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2021

UFC Vegas 19: Blaydes vs. Lewis Odds, Schedule, Predictions

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis meet in a heavyweight main event at UFC Vegas 19 from the promotion's APEX Facility in Las Vegas.

    The two fighters are on a collision course after putting together impressive winning streaks. Blaydes has won each of his last four fights, highlighted by victories over Junior dos Santos and Alexander Volkov, while Lewis has put together three wins, punctuated by a TKO of Aleksei Oleinik.

    His staring contest with Francis Ngannou notwithstanding, a Derrick Lewis fight is typically an entertaining affair. Blaydes' only loss in his last nine fights came at the hands of Ngannou as well. So there's a good chance the winner of this will have an inside track to a title fight shortly.

    The six-fight main card also features a women's bantamweight bout between Ketlen Vieira and Yana Kunitskaya. Vieira has just one loss in her UFC career and sits just outside the top five of her division at six, while Kunitskaya is ranked seventh.

    Here's all you need to know to catch the action, the latest odds and predictions for the biggest fights.

Fight Card, Schedule and Odds

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Main Card (ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET)

    • Curtis Blaydes (-435, bet $435 to win $100) vs. Derrick Lewis (+320, bet $100 to win $320)
    • Ketlen Vieira (-278) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (+215)
    • Charles Rosa (-190) vs. Darrick Minner (+150)
    • Chris Daukaus (-190) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (+150)
    • Phil Hawes (-125) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (+100)
    • Tom Aspinall (-250) vs. Andrei Arlovski (+195)

                  

    Prelims (ESPN+ at 5 p.m. ET)

    • Danny Chavez (-141) vs. Jared Gordon (+115)
    • Drakkar Klose (-177) vs. Luis Pena (+140)
    • John Castaneda (-125) vs. Eddie Wineland (+100)
    • Julian Erosa (-106) vs. Nate Landwehr (-117)
    • Casey O'Neill (-155) vs. Shana Dobson (+125)
    • Jamall Emmers (-250) vs. Chas Skelly (+195)
    • Drako Rodriguez (-190) vs. Aiemann Zahabi (+150)
    • Serghei Spivac (-250) vs. Jared Vanderaa (+195)

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Blaydes vs. Lewis

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    Jim Young/Associated Press

    Predicting a Derrick Lewis fight is always a tricky proposition. Few fighters in MMA have the ability to go from losing a fight convincingly to knocking someone out quite like The Black Beast.

    Lewis' last fight against Oleinik is a perfect example. In the first round, Lewis got taken down, and the Russian nearly submitted him. His ground game is a weak link, and he merely survived the first frame. All it took was one major strike to land for Lewis to turn things around and win in the second frame, though.

    In Blaydes, Lewis draws an opponent who is not only better at scoring takedowns than Oleinik but is also better at keeping opponents down. Blaydes averages 6.98 takedowns per 15 minutes and excels at smothering them on the ground.

    In short, this fight will come down to those moments where Lewis is on the feet. If he can find a home for one of his powerful hooks or uppercuts, it could be lights out for Blaydes. However, the amount of time he's going to have to land those kinds of strikes is going to be limited.

    Blaydes isn't just a lay-and-pray threat, though. He has 10 TKO finishes and is capable of finding spots to ground-and-pound his way to a win.

    If you did this fight 10 times, that's how the majority of them would likely go: Blaydes getting takedowns, exhausting Lewis and scoring the TKO eventually.

    But Lewis is the definition of "puncher's chance." He's a live dog here with the ability to turn the fight on a dime.

    Prediction: Blaydes via third-round TKO

Vieira vs. Kunitskaya

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    The UFC is desperate for contenders at the women's bantamweight division. Amanda Nunes has wiped out most of the top names, and few have emerged as marketable threats to the Lioness.

    That probably explains why this matchup has been placed as the co-main event. While neither of these fighters is likely ready for a title shot, it's likely the winner will be in a position to earn one, if not get it right away.

    This is an interesting matchup as both fighters like to do their work from the clinch. Kunitskaya has a muay thai background and will attack with kicks as well, but she is more of a wrestler in the clinch. Vieira, on the other hand, is a dangerous striker in close quarters.

    Vieira's only loss came against Irene Aldana. She lost via first-round knockout as Aldana swung the fight with a huge left hook that put Vieira out immediately with just 10 seconds left in the round.

    That's not a lot to go on in terms of weaknesses for Vieira. Getting caught once or twice like that in career is something that happens all the time. Kunitskaya is not an especially strong boxer and will more likely be a problem with her leg kicks and wrestling style.

    Thus far, Vieira has been able to stave off wrestlers and maul those opponents in the clinch.

    Prediction: Vieira via decision

Aspinall vs. Arlovski

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    Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

    The heavyweight division will be in the spotlight on Saturday night as the division serves as the opener and closer of the main card.

    Kicking things off will be the matchup between rising prospect Tom Aspinall and one of the longest-tenured veterans in Andrei Arlovski.

    The 42-year-old Arlovski made his UFC debut in 2000, and he won the championship in 2005. The formerly fierce knockout artist has reinvented himself as a savvy kickboxer who has outpointed prospects in each of his last two fights.

    While Arlovski's wins have reinvigorated him as a fighter who can still teach youngsters a thing or two. He had lost five out of the last six before beating Philipe Lins and Tanner Boser by decision.

    That doesn't change the fact that Arlovski has suffered 11 knockout losses in his career. The Pitbull has done well to avoid damage recently, but Aspinall has proved to be a dangerous power-puncher.

    The English heavyweight has won his first two UFC fights in just over two minutes combined. The first was a knockout that stemmed from a quick left hand. The other was a mauling that came off a quick takedown.

    Aspinall's athleticism and tight boxing should be enough to get the win.

    Prediction: Aspinall via first-round TKO

                    

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