The vicious knockout came after Blaydes attempted to turn to his wrestling and that’s exactly what Lewis wanted as he timed an uppercut that detonated like a bomb and sent the No. 2 ranked heavyweight crashing to the canvas. Lewis followed up with punches but Blaydes was already unconscious before he hit the ground as the fight was stopped at 1:26 into the second round.
“I’m feeling all right,” Lewis said after the stunning victory. “The first round, second round, I couldn’t really get it going. I felt dead out there. That was the only punch I was waiting for the whole fight. The uppercut or the knee was going to land.”
Prior to the finish, the first attempt from Blaydes to get inside was also met with a clubbing punch from Lewis, who let him know right away that he was going to get hit hard every time he tried for a takedown. From there, Lewis seemed content to sit back and counter punch whenever Blaydes moved forward but that meant he was consistently waiting on his opponent to attack.
While it took some time to find his openings, Blaydes eventually snapped off a straight punch that clipped Lewis followed by several stiff shots that started to sway the momentum into his favor. Blaydes continued to chip away at Lewis with heavy leather and an inside elbow that came over the top to blast “The Black Beast.”
Feeling he was in control, Blaydes was beginning to throw with more confidence while obviously waiting for the opening to set up his wrestling.
Just as Blaydes made his first dedicated attempt at a takedown, he was met by a devastating uppercut from Lewis that connected with maximum force. Blaydes immediately crashed to the canvas with Lewis continuing to throw shots until referee Herb Dean could rush into stop the fight before further damage was dished out.
Blaydes laid motionless for a few moments before finally sitting up to ask what exactly had just happened.
As for Lewis, he barely broke a smile after his signature ground-thumping celebration but he was obviously happy with the result.
With four wins in a row capped off by the knockout against Blaydes on Saturday night, Lewis is creeping back into title contention and he had a couple of suggestions when it came to his next opponent.
“I heard Jon Jones was coming up,” Lewis said about the former light heavyweight champion moving up a division. “Makes no sense saying I’m going to fight for the title. I’m pretty sure [Israel Adesanya] is going to come up and fight at heavyweight. I guess [I’ll fight] Stipe [Miocic]. I like the wrestlers.”