Derrick Lewis (pictured) wants the fight to be entertaining so that the fans get their money's worth. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Dubai: It’s the turn of the big boys to strut their stuff as MMA action returns to the UFC’s Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night for an 11-fight card highlighted by a much-anticipated heavyweight clash between Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis.

‘Razor’ Blaydes (14-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) is the second-ranked heavyweight fighter in the UFC while Lewis (24-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) is ranked No 4 in a division where Croatian/ American pounder Stipe Miocic resides as the defending champion.

Blaydes is unbeaten in his last four fights which which includes a pair of dominating victories this year over Junior dos Santos and Alexander Volkov. This will be his third visit to the Octagon in 2020 but Lewis could well be the roughest opponent he has faced, having won his last three bouts.


Lewis defeated Ilir Latifi in February via a unanimous decision and then dominated Aleksei Oleinik in August to become the MMA’s leading fighter for the most knockouts in the heavyweight division’s history.

“I want to be more entertaining for a main event,” he said during a virtual media day. “I want the fans to be pleased. Just to lay and pray and be boring, fans will change the channel. Just be entertaining.”

“I think I’m going to show him that I’m one of the baddest blue belts in Texas. If he wants a wrestling match, I’m sure he’s not going to try and take me down. I believe that he feels that my weakness is really standing up, because I’m so predictable. So I don’t even think we’re going to go to the ground. I think he’s going to try and out-strike me. My gameplan is to take him down right off the bat.”

In other fights on the card, look out for an exciting lightweight clash between strikers Renato Moicano (14-3-1, fighting out of Brasilia, Brazil and Rafael Fiziev (8-1, fighting out of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan by the way of Phuket, Thailand.

Luke Sanders (13-3) returns to the Octagon after almost two years to take on Nate Maness (12-1) in a 140-pound catchweight bout that opening the action on Saturday night.

Elsewhere, flyweights Amir Albazi (12-1) fighting out of Alperton, England, squares-off with Kazakhstan’s Zhalgas Zhumagulov (13-4) while Hawaii’s Martin Day (8-4) takes on Brazil’s Anderson Dos Santos (20-8) with both fighters looking to secure their first UFC wins at bantamweight

In another clash of heavyweights looking to make a statement, Josh Parisian (13-3) battles Parker Porter (10-6).

In women’s action, California’s Ashlee Evans-Smith (6-4) meets Brazil’s Norma Dumont (4-1) who will be looking for a maiden win her first UFC win at bantamweight.


Curtis Blaydes vs Derrick Lewis


Height: 6’4″ Age: 29 Weight: 261 lbs. Reach: 80″

Last fight: Decision win over Alexander Volkov (June 20, 2020)

Camp: Elevation Fight Team (Denver)

Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing


Height: 6’3″ Age: 35 Weight: 265 lbs. Reach: 79″

Last fight: TKO win over Aleksei Oleinik (Aug. 8, 2020)

Camp: 4oz. Fight Club (Texas)

Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing


UFC on ESP Las Vegas 15

Main Card (UFC Arabia): 4 am Sunday


Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis

Light heavyweight

Anthony Smith vs. Devin Clark


Josh Parisian vs. Parker Porter


Miguel Baeza vs. Takashi Sato

Men’s featherweight

Spike Carlyle vs. Bill Algeo

Prelims (UFC Arabia) 1 am Sunday

Women’s bantamweight

Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Norma Dumont Viana


Martin Day vs. Anderson dos Santos

Women’s flyweight

Gina Mazany vs. Rachael Ostovich


Jonathan Pearce vs. Kai Kamaka III


Su Mudaerji vs. Malcolm Gordon


Luke Sanders vs. Nate Maness