Las Vegas, February 21: Derrick Lewis got into heavweight title contention after record-setting win over Curtis Blaydes in UFC Vegas 19: Blaydes vs. Lewis at the Apex facility in Las Vegas on Saturday (February 20).
In the Main Event, heavyweight contenders, #2 ranked Blaydes and #4 Lewis showed caution for each others' specialties in the first round, with Blaydes surprisingly edging ahead in the striking.
Lewis gave another surprise in round two by successfully defending the takedown, and this confidence led to an uppercut on the next attempt that had Blaydes down for the count, giving Lewis a record-setting victory by by TKO.
In the Co-Main Event, women's bantamweight #6Ketlen Vieira wasted no time in working for the takedown against #7 Yana Kunitskaya where she stayed on top for the first round. Kunitskaya reversed the game plan in the second for her own work in top control.
Vieira swung her Brazilian jiu jitsu into action for the final round, then Kunitskaya flipped it back to top control to end strong. Kunitskaya's ground and pound throughout the fight led to the judges awarding her the unanimous decision win.
Earlier in the main card, Charles Rosa and Darrick Minner delivered an exciting featherweight bout that started off with stand and bang and progressed to scrambles on the ground.
Minner dominated in top control in the second and third rounds, while Rosa looked for submission attempts from the bottom. Minner earned the unanimous decision on the scorecards.
In a definitive striker versus grappler match, prospect Chris Daukaus punched through the shoots of veteran #10 ranked Aleksei Oleinik to get the TKO in just 1:55 seconds of the first round.
In a battle of middleweight prospects, Dana White's Contender Series veteran Phil Hawes put on a grinding three rounds against Nassourdine Imavov. Imavov came back strong with striking at the end of the fight, but it wasn't enough, and Hawes got the majority decision win.
In the main card's opening bout, rising prospect Tom Aspinall brought punches in bunches to former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, but his second round victory came via submission, after Aspinall took down the legend and was able to get Arlovski to tap to a rear naked choke.
Meanwhile, in the preliminary card that saw five stoppages, Jared Gordon earned a decision win over Danny Chavez with John Castaneda, Julian Erosa, Casey O'Neill, Aiemann Zahabi and Serghei Spivac earning TKO/KO wins.
UFC Vegas 19: Blaydes vs. Lewis Final Results
1. Heavyweight bout: Derrick Lewis defeated Curtis Blaydes via second-round TKO
2. Women's Bantamweight bout: Yana Kunitskaya defeated Ketlen Vieira via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
3. Featherweight bout: Darrick Minner defeated Charles Rosa via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27)
4. Heavyweight bout: Chris Daukaus defeated Aleksei Oleinik via first-round TKO
5. Middleweight bout: Phil Hawes defeated Nassourdine Imavov via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
6. Heavyweight bout: Tom Aspinall defeated Andrei Arlovski via second-round submission
1. Catchweight (150 lb) bout: Jared Gordon defeated Danny Chavez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
2. Lightweight bout: Drakkar Klose vs. Luis Pena - (postponed)
3. Bantamweight bout: John Castaneda defeated Eddie Wineland via first-round TKO
4. Featherweight bout: Julian Erosa defeated Nate Landwehr via first-round TKO
5. Women's Flyweight bout: Casey O'Neill defeated Shana Dobson via second-round TKO
6. Featherweight bout: Chas Skelly vs. Jamall Emmers - (cancelled)
7. Catchweight (140.5 lb) bout: Aiemann Zahabi defeated Drako Rodriguez via first-round KO
8. Heavyweight bout: Serghei Spivac defeated Jared Vanderaa via second-round TKO