Curtis Blaydes made no apologies about his technique coming into an enormous heavyweight struggle with Derrick Lewis. Blaydes was going to make use of his dominant wrestling early and infrequently. He informed anybody who would pay attention.Maybe it was a decoy. But Blaydes ought to have caught to his authentic recreation plan, as Lewis crushed him with an uppercut knockout at 1:26 of the second spherical in Saturday’s principal occasion of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.Blaydes gained confidence on the toes within the first spherical and solely tried one takedown, which Lewis stuffed. And Lewis, one of the harmful KO artists within the historical past of MMA, made him pay.It was the most important upset in a UFC principal occasion since Michael Bisping beat Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in 2016, based on ESPN Stats & Information analysis. Lewis was a +350 underdog, per Caesars William Hill, ESPN’s odds supplier. Bisping was +400 towards Rockhold 5 years in the past.With the stoppage, Lewis ties Vitor Belfort with essentially the most knockouts in UFC historical past (12). Lewis is now tied for the second-most wins in UFC heavyweight historical past (16) with Frank Mir. Andrei Arlovski is the all-time UFC heavyweight wins chief with 19.Saturday’s end got here when Blaydes ducked in, making an attempt to shut the gap for a clinch or takedown. Lewis noticed it coming and let free with a large uppercut. Blaydes’ physique shook on affect, and he was unconscious as he fell to the canvas. Lewis adopted up on the bottom with punches till referee Herb Dean got here in to drag him off.”That was the one punch I used to be ready for the whole struggle,” Lewis stated. “I knew he was gonna are available. … That’s all I used to be ready for. I wasn’t anxious about throwing a one-two, a jab or something.”Blaydes was very efficient within the first spherical on the toes, touchdown onerous combos and chewing up Lewis’ lead legs with kicks. He ended up outlanding Lewis 28-7 in vital strikes. Lewis did land a tough proper hand early that wobbled Blaydes briefly, however in any other case, Blaydes was in management.That’s how the second spherical began, as effectively, however Lewis is all the time a menace to place an opponent to sleep. And Blaydes acquired caught with a bomb of an uppercut.Blaydes did not land a single takedown within the struggle. He had 59 profession takedowns landed within the UFC, essentially the most in UFC heavyweight historical past.”At the top of the primary spherical, I used to be like, he is messing up, he is messing up,” Lewis stated of Blaydes not touchdown a takedown. “That’s what I used to be saying in my head … I used to be like, alright maintain enjoying that recreation. That’s what I used to be saying to myself.”The bout was initially scheduled for Nov. 28, however Blaydes examined optimistic for COVID-19, and the competition was pulled at some point previous to the occasion earlier than official weigh-ins. Coming in, ESPN had Blaydes ranked No. 3 and Lewis ranked No. 5 on the planet at heavyweight.Francis Ngannou is getting the subsequent title shot at champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 on March 27 and pound-for-pound nice Jon Jones appears ready within the wings for the winner. Lewis is now in pole place in case one thing occurs with any of these athletes, however he stated it might be foolish to say he desires a title shot subsequent given Ngannou and Jones are forward of him.Lewis as an alternative stated he desires to struggle Alistair Overeem subsequent regardless of Overeem coming off a knockout loss to Alexander Volkov.”It’ll be cool to struggle him, as a result of he is a so-called legend,” he stated. “It can be cool to struggle someone like that. … We’ve been making an attempt to struggle him for years and he turned down the struggle 4 instances already.”UFC Fight Night occurred on the UFC Apex, the promotion’s venue throughout the road from its company campus in Las Vegas.Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) has gained 4 straight. He was coming off a KO win over Aleksei Oleinik in August. The Houston resident owned essentially the most knockouts in UFC heavyweight historical past already earlier than Saturday. Lewis, a 36-year-old fan favourite, has gained seven of 9 and 13 of 16 general.Blaydes (14-3, 1 NC) had gained 4 straight coming in and most lately beat Alexander Volkov by unanimous determination win final June. The Illinois native, who trains out of Colorado’s Elevation Fight Team, had misplaced to just one man within the UFC earlier than Saturday: Ngannou, twice.Blaydes, 30, is a former NJCAA nationwide champion in wrestling and normally touts his takedown-and-ground-control-based model in MMA.