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Curtis Blaydes must climb at least one more rung on the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight ladder before he nails down the title shot that has thus far eluded him.
The Elevation Fight Team standout will carry a four-fight winning streak into his five-round confrontation with Derrick Lewis in the UFC Fight Night 185 headliner on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Blaydes, 30, sports a 9-2 record inside the Octagon, having lost only to Francis Ngannou. He last appeared at UFC on ESPN 11 in June, when he laced a heavyweight record 14 takedowns in a unanimous decision over former Bellator MMA champion Alexander Volkov. Lewis, meanwhile, has rattled off three straight victories. The 36-year-old New Orleans native last competed at UFC Fight Night 174, where he took care of Alexey Oleynik with second-round punches on Aug. 8.
UFC Fight Night “Blaydes vs. Lewis”—which streams live to ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT—also features a women’s co-main event matching Ketlen Vieira with Yana Kunitskaya, a featherweight tilt pitting Charles Rosa against Darrick Minner, a middleweight affair slotting Phil Hawes opposite Nassourdine Imavov and a pair of heavyweight battles, as the aforementioned Oleynik faces Chris Daukaus and Andrei Arlovski meets Tom Aspinall. In addition, ESPN+ will stream the undercard in its entirety at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT, the eight-bout slate of prelims anchored by a featherweight duel between Jared Gordon and Danny Chavez.
A closer look at the UFC Fight Night 185 particulars:
THE LINEUP265: Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis
135: Ketlen Vieira vs. Yana Kunitskaya
145: Charles Rosa vs. Darrick Minner
265: Alexey Oleynik vs. Chris Daukaus
185: Phil Hawes vs. Nassourdine Imavov
265: Andrei Arlovski vs. Tom Aspinall
145: Jared Gordon vs. Danny Chavez
155: Drakkar Klose vs. Luis Pena
135: Eddie Wineland vs. John Castaneda
145: Nate Landwehr vs. Julian Erosa
125: Shana Dobson vs. Casey O'Neill
145: Chas Skelly vs. Jamall Emmers
135: Aiemann Zahabi vs. Drako Rodriguez
265: Sergey Spivak vs. Jared Vanderaa
THE RUNDOWN• Preview: The Main Card
• Preview: The Prelims
• Weigh-in Report
• By The Numbers: Blaydes vs. Lewis
• By The Numbers: UFC Fight Night 185 Pre-Fight Edition
• 5 Defining Moments: Andrei Arlovski
• Rivalries: Alexey Oleynik
• Prime Picks
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