Cutis Blaydes says he doesn't mind the criticism he sometimes hears because of his preferred style of fighting, as long as he continues to get his hand raised. The second-ranked heavyweight will continue his quest for his first title shot when he takes on former title-challenger Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis on Saturday. The main UFC fight card is set for 8 p.m. ET. Blaydes told the media this week that his wrestling-based approach is likely why he has yet to see much mainstream popularity, but he has no plans to change against the fourth-ranked Lewis, who holds the UFC heavyweight division record for knockouts with 11.
Blaydes is a -380 favorite (risk $380 to win $100), while Lewis is a +300 underdog in the latest Blaydes vs. Lewis odds from William Hill Sportsbook. In the co-main event, Ketlen Vieira (-275) takes on Yana Kunitskaya (+235) in a matchup of ranked women's bantamweight contenders. Before finalizing any picks of your own for UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis, make sure you see what SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley has to say.
Marley won the first-ever "ToutMaster" UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event.
Over the past 24 months, $100 bettors who have followed Marley's picks are up more than $22,000. Already in 2021, the accomplished MMA analyst has built on his memorable 2020 run and has now connected on 27 of his last UFC 37 main-event selections, a stretch that includes a streak of five straight underdogs.
Last week at UFC 258, Marley told SportsLine members to expect a dominant performance for welterweight champ Kamaru Usman (-270) in his title defense against Gilbert Burns (+230) in the main event. He was proven correct when Usman survived an early barrage and scored a third-round stoppage to give Marley's followers another easy winner. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every fight. Those UFC picks are only available at SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night: Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis preview
Blaydes (14-2-1) has emerged as a lethal threat because of his combination of athleticism and power. He uses a wrestling-heavy approach to subdue opponents and often finishes them with vicious ground-and-pound. He also showed superb conditioning in fending off a late rally from No. 5-rated Alexander Volkov and winning a five-round decision in their main event in June of last year.
He faces an equally dangerous opponent in Lewis (24-7-1), a seven-year UFC veteran whose legendary power has led to a UFC-record 11 knockouts in the heavyweight division. The 36-year-old slugger lost a short-notice title bout against former champion Daniel Cormier in November 2018 but has since rebounded to position himself for another shot at the belt.
Lewis showed improved his conditioning by winning two of his past three fights by decision, but reminded MMA observers of his signature power with a second-round knockout of Aleksei Oleinik last August. You can only see Marley's coveted Blaydes vs. Lewis picks here.
UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis predictions
We'll reveal one of Marley's UFC Fight Night selections here: He is taking Charles Rosa (-185) to earn a submission victory over Darrick Minner (+165) in a matchup of featherweight contenders on the main card.
Rosa (13-4) is a grappling specialist who has shown signs of potential but also has struggled to maintain consistent traction. In fact, the 34-year-old Massachusetts native has alternated wins and losses in all eight of his UFC appearances. His last outing resulted in a split decision over Kevin Aguilar last June.
He faces an equally dangerous and similarly inconsistent opponent in Minner (25-11), who, as Marley points out, has a history of coming out strong at the opening bell but sometimes fading if he doesn't get a fast finish. The 30-year-old Nebraska native has a whopping 21 first-round finishes to his credit but is just 4-6 for his career when his opponent survives the opening frame.
"This will be the same situation on Saturday. Minner should be the more dangerous and higher-paced fighter early. If he doesn't get that quick finish, Rosa probably submits him in Rounds 2 or 3," Marley told SportsLine.
How to make UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis picks
Marley also has strong picks for Blaydes vs. Lewis and every other bout on the UFC Fight Night card. He's also backing one fighter to get "a dominant, early, ground-and-pound finish." Those selections are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Blaydes vs. Lewis? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night, all from the incomparable expert who's up more than $22,000 on MMA in the past 24 months, and find out.
UFC Fight Night odds
Curtis Blaydes (-380) vs. Derrick Lewis (+300)
Ketlen Vieira (-275) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (+235)
Charles Rosa (-185) vs. Darrick Minner (+165)
Chris Daukaus (-165) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (+145)
Tom Aspinall (-265) vs. Andre Arlovksi (+225)
Phillip Hawes (-120) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (+100)
Danny Chavez (-145) vs. Jared Gordon (+125)
Drakkar Klose (-190) vs. Luis Pena (+170)
John Castaneda (-130) vs. Eddie Wineland (+110)
Julian Erosa (-115) vs. Nate Landwehr (-105)
Casey O'Neill (-140) vs. Shana Dobson (+120)
Jamall Emmers (-220) vs. Chas Skelly (+190)
Drako Rodriguez (-180) vs. Aiemann Zahabi (+160)
Sergey Spivak (-230) vs. Jared Vanderaa (+190)