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That fight definitely showed the evolution of Blaydes, who allowed his wrestling to set up his standup game. That development has helped make Blaydes one of the biggest threats to Miocic’s heavyweight throne. When it comes to his fight with Lewis, however, Blaydes doesn’t mince words about what he plans to do. He plans to execute a similar plan to the one we saw against Aleksei Oleinik, Mark Hunt, Alistair Overeem, Shamil Abdurakimov and, most recently, Alexander Volkov.

Blaydes’ punishing style was on display last June when he faced Volkov at the UFC APEX. It was a grueling 25-minute battle of Blaydes trying to break Volkov, and while he wasn’t able to find the finish, he was able to find something within himself he knew was always there.

“I am happy to know that I can go 25 minutes and I can go into what I call ‘the dark place,’ and it’s awesome to know that I can go into that dark place and I can operate there at a high level,” Blaydes said. “Obviously, you don’t want to be in there for 25 minutes, I don’t care who you are. The longer you are in there the more chances you have to lose.”

The ability to combine his wrestling and high Fight IQ is how Blaydes has put together a four-fight win streak heading into this clash with Lewis. This fight is one that fans have wanted to see and it’s also the only fight that made sense in the mind of both Blaydes and Lewis. Both heavyweights were disappointed that this bout, originally slated as the main event in November 2020, fell through due to Blaydes testing positive for COVID-19. But now that he’s back and the fight can finally go down, it’s a good time to be a heavyweight.


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