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UFC Vegas 19: Blaydes vs. Lewis results and post-fight analysis

Dayne Fox gives instant analysis to UFC Vegas 19, culminating with Derrick Lewis scoring an explosive KO of Curtis Blaydes, advancing his position at the top of the crowded heavyweight picture.

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Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Curtis Blaydes looked awesome through the opening round. Keeping a jab in the face of Derrick Lewis and picking away with low kicks, all Blaydes had to do was avoid Lewis power with that performance and he’d clear another road block out of his way to the title. Well, Blaydes couldn’t resist returning to his roots, shot for a takedown, and ate an uppercut from Lewis that put him to sleep... and spoiled his impressive performance.

The victory launched Lewis back into the title hunt... a year from now. Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou will fight for the belt at the end of March and Jon Jones is waiting in the wings. Regardless, Lewis is enough of a fan favorite that he could easily be the front runner once the Miocic-Ngannou-Jones trifecta has played itself out, though he might have to keep himself busy. Only time will tell.

As for the rest of the card....

Main Card

  • A late burst with seconds left was enough to sway the decision in the favor of the more active Yana Kunitskaya over Ketlen Vieira. It wasn’t exactly a barnburner with the combatants trading the top position, but the judges favored Kunitskaya’s late damage over Vieira’s extensive control in the final round after the ladies traded the first two rounds.
  • Did we just watch Darrick Minner put together a complete three-round performance? After 21 of his 25 career victories came in the first round, Minner put together the most complete performance of his career, dominating Charles Rosa for the entirety of the contest. Safe to say no one saw this type of performance coming from Minner.
  • Is Chris Daukaus that good or is the 43-year old Aleksei Oleinik past his expiration date? An argument could be made for both – and probably is a combination of both — but until further evidence comes in, lets say Daukaus is a badass. Six months after his UFC debut, he has three first round finishes. Those fast hands make up for his less than imposing frame.
  • He had to dig deep, but Phil Hawes found a way to hang on and squeeze out a decision win over a game Nassourdine Imavov. Hawes used his wrestling to control a HUGE portion of the contest, but didn’t score much significant offense outside of the first round. Imavov made good on his opportunities to do damage, but those were too few and far between, resulting in the judges favoring Hawes by the thinnest of margins.
  • It appears safe to say Tom Aspinall is legit. It isn’t just that he beat Andrei Arlovski – not the accomplishment it used to be – but he did something only Josh Barnett had previously done: submit Arlovski. Aspinall isn’t a finished product, but he’s already a scary man. Imagine how scary he’ll be when he’s a finished product.


  • Though the win is tainted by his missing weight, Jared Gordon looked awesome in his win over Danny Chavez, showing improved boxing to go with his signature grinding style. Unfortunately, the weight miss was bad enough it leaves the question of whether Gordon will be fighting at featherweight again.
  • It initially looked like it would be a vintage Eddie Wineland performance as his herky-jerky movement was on point against John Casteneda. Casteneda was patient, eventually found him timing, and delivered a right hand that stunned Wineland. Casteneda swarmed from there and was able to secure the first-round stoppage.
  • If you’re wondering how much action can be squeezed into a fight in less than a minute, Julian Erosa’s flying knee victory over Nate Landwehr is a brilliant example of an extended amount of time being a requisite for a great fight. Erosa initially hurt Landwehr, then Landwehr returned the favor before the finishing sequence saw Erosa get the win.
  • A blistering pace is responsible for Casey O’Neill’s debut victory, getting in the face of Shana Dobson out of the gate in pursuit of takedowns. Dobson had plenty of fight early, but eventually wilted under O’Neill’s onslaught and top control, the referee calling the contest in the second.
  • Rarely are fights that didn’t happen mentioned here, but given Chas Skelly was already in the cage when he learned his opponent wasn’t coming out, it’s worth mentioning. Jamall Emmers reported severe back spasms, keeping him from making his way to the cage. So… yeah. Skelly was understandably upset, but didn’t place the blame on Emmers. Sometimes, stuff happens and no one is really to blame.
  • Timing and precision proved to be key for Aiemann Zahabi, landing a perfect cross on the face of Drako Rodriguez, dropping the newcomer like a bag of bricks. Given Zahabi was on the last fight on his contract, he probably saved his job.
  • Jared Vanderra talked a big game after his DWCS appearance, even having his wish granted to face Sergey Spivak for his debut. Spivak had little trouble taking Vanderaa down and wearing him out with positioning and steady GnP, giving Spivak consecutive wins for the first time in the UFC.

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