Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
What, you thought the always-busy UFC was going to take the American Thanksgiving weekend off? Not hardly. There’s a Fight Night card on Saturday night again from the organization’s Apex facility in Las Vegas and it’s headlined by a non-title matchup of American heavyweights in Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis. The main card is set to start at 10 p.m. ET and is available on ESPN2/ESPN+.
The current heavyweight champion is Stipe Miocic, who isn’t expected to fight again until March at the earliest and most likely against No. 1 contender Francis Ngannou.
The 29-year-old Blaydes could get his title shot at some point in 2021, though, as the Oklahoma native (who hasn’t fought for a UFC belt) is 14-2 and has yet to face Miocic. The only two losses for “Razor” were to Ngannou by early-round TKOs.
Blaydes enters this on a four-fight winning streak, last taking out Alexander Volkov by unanimous decision in June. Blaydes set a UFC heavyweight single-fight record with 14 takedowns in the victory. “Razor” is a former Junior College wrestling All-American. That Volkov bout was only his fourth fight to go to the judges and he has won them all; the other 10 by KO/TKO. Blaydes is a -400 favorite Saturday – up from -300 late last week.
Lewis (24-7) is 35 and ranked No. 4 in the division. He’s a former Legacy Fighting Championship champion and did get a UFC heavyweight title shot in November 2018 against Daniel Cormier but lost by second-round submission (rear-naked choke).
“The Black Beast” lost the next time out by second-round TKO to former heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos but has since won his past three. Lewis also owns a win over Ngannou via unanimous decision in July 2018 in an upset. Lewis has won 79 percent of his bouts by KO/TKO and four of his seven losses are via the same route. He’s a +300 underdog (up from +250) for this one.
There’s also an intriguing welterweight bout between American Miguel Baeza (9-0) and Japan’s Takashi Sato (16-3). Neither is ranked in the division. The 30-year-old Sato is 2-1 since joining the UFC and beat Jason Witt by first-round TKO in June last time out. Sato is a +130 dog for this one. Baeza, 28, could get into the rankings with a victory and comes off a May second-round TKO of Matt Brown. “Caramel Thunder” is a -160 favorite Saturday.