After another successful pay-per-view at UFC 258 with welterweight champion Kamaru “the Nigerian Nightmare” Usman (18-1 MMA, 13-0 UFC) finishing former teammate and number 1 contender Gilbert “Durinho” Burns (19-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) via 3rd round TKO, the MMA leader returns to the Apex for another fight night. This time, the UFC has stacked a deep 15-fight card with heavyweight staples Curtis Blaydes (14-2 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) squaring off with Derrick Lewis (24-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) in the main event. In a classic clash of styles, we know exactly what both men desire to do. Blaydes looks to extend his record for most takedowns landed in UFC heavyweight history, while Lewis plans to add on to his achievement of the most knockouts in the UFC heavyweight division. The winner of this big boy showdown will be on the cusp of a UFC title shot.
Currently the odds have Curtis Blaydes a -400 favorite with the comeback on Derrick Lewis at +300.
Before the night’s headliner, fight fans are treated with the biggest card of the year in terms of the amount of fights booked on the event. 15 bouts are currently scheduled to take place this Saturday at UFC Vegas 19. Someone please let me know if that is a record. The entire event will be streamed live on ESPN+.
In this article, I will discuss three of my favorite parlay legs on the UFC Vegas 19: Blaydes vs Lewis fight card. Please remember to always gamble legally and responsibly.
Curtis Blaydes (-400)
Derrick Lewis is one of my all-time favorite heavyweights. I mean, “The Black Beast” holds the record for most knockouts in UFC heavyweight history with 11 and has one of the funniest personalities in the game, what’s not to love? The only thing is, I love money more than being a fan of someone I’ve never met, and this is a horrible stylistic matchup for Lewis on paper. I’ve gone on record stating that Curtis Blaydes might be the most boring fighter in the UFC heavyweight division. I always follow that up by saying that “money doesn’t care if you’re exciting.” Curtis Blaydes wins fights. Period. And you’d have to be a fool not to roster Curtis Blaydes in at least some of your DraftKings lineups this weekend.
Curtis Blaydes averages a whopping near 7 takedowns per fight, with Derrick Lewis only defending 52% of takedowns attempted on him. The best part of Lewis’ game to watch is what we like to refer to as the “Black Beast blitz.” This usually occurs when Lewis gets taken down, finds the littlest of openings to explode back to his feet, and lands devastating power shots that tend to visibly compromise his opponent, or end the fight. While Lewis does have an improving get-up game, as well as decent submission defense, he’s taking on a different kind of beast here in Blaydes. The Colorado fighter “Razor” Blaydes doesn’t need just one takedown to win this fight. He is perfectly capable of chaining repeated takedowns and mat returns over and over, until he fatigues his opponent, and eventually drowns them in an ocean of pressure.
The price is lined where it is for a reason. Blaydes has a ridiculous chin that only title challenger Francis Ngannou (15-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) has been able to truly crack. Yes, Mark Hunt (13-14-1-1 MMA, 8-8-1-1 UFC) had some early success, but Mark Hunt didn’t close the show like “The Predator” Ngannou did, twice. Even though the hype is real on Lewis’ KO power, the credentials are even realer with Blaydes wrestling. I see Curtis Blaydes taking Derrick Lewis down at will until the fight hits the scorecards, or until Blaydes gets a ground n pound TKO. There is a high likelihood that Blaydes out performs his price tag Saturday night.
Sergey Spivak (-250)
Moldova’s Sergey Spivak (11-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has not had an easy road inside the octagon thus far. Although Spivak has alternated losses and wins, look at the level of competition he’s been matched up against in the UFC. From getting stopped by hard hitting Walt Harris (13-9-1 MMA, 7-8 UFC) in his debut, to submitting Tai Tuivasa (10-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) in Australia, back to a hard fought loss versus top 15 ranked Marcin Tybura (21-6 MMA, 8-5 UFC), all the way to his most recent win against Brazilian banger Carlos Felipe (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), the 26 year old Spivak has paid his dues inside the octagon. For the first time, Spivak finally gets a showcase fight and is rightfully favored.
No disrespect to Jared “The Mountain” Vanderaa (11-4 MMA), but this opponent should be considered a softball for Spivak in comparison to the murderer’s row he faced in his first 4 UFC appearances. We all know what Sergey Spivak does when he gets a step down in competition. Whether it’s the school-yard headlock or a head kick KO, Spivak usually runs through fighters that are not on his level. I think Saturday night will be no exception. Look for the “Polar Bear” Spivak to put on his best performance to date.
Tom Aspinall (-250)
I know, I know, fading Andrei Arlovski (30-19-2 MMA, 19-14 UFC) cost you the last two occasions he fought so this time you’re jumping on the Arlovski train. Big mistake in my opinion. You had your opportunity versus Philipe Lins (14-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) and Tanner Boser (19-7-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC). We’re getting back to reality Saturday night and the reality is that Arlovski is 5-10 in his last 15 fights. Although Tom Aspinall (9-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) hasn’t proven himself against top tier competition, the heavy handed Brit brings certain elements to the table that Arlovski’s most recent opponents simply do not possess.
For example, media members used to get on Tanner Boser’s last nerve by constantly asking him if he’ll ever drop a weight class to 205 pounds. There is not a single soul on planet earth that is wondering if the 6 foot 5, 265 pound Tom Aspinall can cut to light heavyweight. Secondly, hardcore fans have often criticized the seemingly lenient drug testing of the PFL, the league where Philipe Lins won the championship and million-dollar prize. Many wondered if Lins would look the same when he made the transition to the UFC. There is not a single soul on planet earth that is wondering if Tom Aspinall is going to look “soft” in the UFC.
The biggest questions surrounding Britain’s Aspinall is what happens if the fight gets extended? I do not have any reason to believe that Aspinall will badly gas if the battle goes past the first round. His punches come straight down the pipe and Aspinall rarely forces things or exerts unnecessary energy. It’s not Tom Aspinall’s fault that no one has been able to see the 3rd round in a fight with him, and we should absolutely not hold that against him. A cool little tidbit, Aspinall trains his boxing with sweet science great Tyson Fury (30-0-1 Boxing). You know for a fact training with a legend like Fury is only going to elevate Aspinall’s game to that next level. In addition, Aspinall is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. At only 25 years of age, we still haven’t scratched the surface of what Tom Aspinall is truly capable of.
Can Arlovski take Aspinall outside the first round, and if so, is it a foregone conclusion that he wins? I’m thinking no and probably not. I got Tom Aspinall by first round KO.
Check out our other UFC Vegas 19 betting content:
Favorite Lines from Dan Tom