The UFC is starting to fill out it’s Q1 calendar for 2021, with the recent announcements of Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny to headline their second Fight Night of their upcoming Fight Island trip, as well as a heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov for their Feb. 6th show. A title fight between Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns has been penciled in for the Feb. 13 PPV, and now it appears their February 20th Fight Night has a headliner as well.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported the news via Twitter, that the UFC has re-booked the heavyweight top contenders bout between Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis. The clash of elite big men had been originally set to go down on November 28th back at the Apex facility in Las Vegas, NV. Unfortunately, a last minute positive COVID test on the part of Blaydes scrapped the headliner just one day out from fight night.
In their place, Anthony Smith’s light heavyweight bout against Devin Clark was elevated to the main event, where Smith tapped the ‘Brown Bear’ out with a triangle choke just 2:34 into the opening round.
Assuming both men make it to the Octagon this time around, ‘Razor’ Blaydes will enter the bout on a four-fight winning streak, stretching back to 2018 and his 0:48 second rematch loss to Francis Ngannou. He’s currently riding high off a unanimous decision victory over Alexander Volkov, which came on the heels of a second round TKO of former champion Junior Dos Santos.
Similarly, Lewis is currently on his own three-fight win streak, having defeated Blagoy Ivanov, Ilir Latifi, and Aleksei Oleinik following a rough second round TKO loss to JDS back in 2019. That loss to ‘Cigano’ came on the heels of a failed title bid against Daniel Cormier back at UFC 230 in 2018, which was earned after a string of victories including an infamously ugly decision over Francis Ngannou.
While the UFC has yet to make the event, its location, or its lineup official, UFC Fight Night 185 is also expected to include a top ranked women’s bantamweight bout between Ketlen Vieira & Yana Kunitskaya as well as a heavyweight bout between Aleksei Oleinik & Chris Daukaus. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes as the card approaches.