As we have learned over the years, all it takes is one punch from Derrick Lewis to end a fight.
Curtis Blaydes found that out the hard way.
The No. 4-ranked Lewis may have literally punched his way into the heavyweight title conversation with a brutal second-round knockout of Blaydes in the main event of UFC Fight Night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Lewis knew what Blaydes had come to do, and at the first opportunity to turn back the No. 2 contender’s wrestling, he did so in devastating fashion.
Blaydes stayed just out of striking range in an effective first round, and he also surprised Lewis by putting together punches and kicks that got the “Black Beast’s” attention. He seemed to stun Lewis on several occasions.
Blaydes made his first takedown attempt in the second round but Lewis was able to remain upright. Sensing that Blaydes would look to get the fight to the mat, Lewis met his opponent’s takedown try with a perfectly timed uppercut that landed with a sickening thud.
Blaydes collapsed to the canvas and Lewis followed him, throwing a pair of brutal hammerfists to put an end to the night.
“That was the punch I was waiting for the entire fight,” Lewis said. “I knew he was going to come in and that’s what I wanted. I didn’t care about throwing the 1-2 or anything else.”
Lewis may have to wait for his title opportunity with Francis Ngannou challenging UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in March. If he doesn’t get a shot right away, then he would love to welcome Jon Jones to the division.
“I heard Jon Jones is coming up, so it don’t make no sense for me to say that I’m a fight for the title,” Lewis said.
But he also made it clear that he would enjoy a shot at the champion. “I guess (I want to fight) Stipe. I like them wrestlers,” he said.