Curtis Blaydes is keeping his head up after a brutal knockout loss to Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC Vegas 19.
The UFC heavyweight was optimistic in a statement released Tuesday on his Instagram story, writing “sometimes you’re the hammer and sometimes you’re the nail.”
“This game has a razor thin margin for error and I just got caught it happens. Props to Derrick. No shame in it my heads [sic] still held high.”
Lewis hoped to capture a title shot with a fifth straight win this past Saturday at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Early on, it appeared he was on his way to dismantling Lewis with superior striking and movement. But in the second round, his takedown attempt was picked off perfectly with an uppercut that sent him crashing to the canvas.
As Blaydes laid on the canvas, Lewis followed with two more punches as referee Herb Dean intervened. Lewis then imitated a pro-wrestling diss, a D-Generation “crotch chop,” and blamed Dean for not stopping the bout sooner as Blaydes’ corners protested.
The extra punches were insurance against a chance recovery, said Lewis, who tied Vitor Belfort for most knockout wins in the UFC and extended his current winning streak to four bouts. Veteran official John McCarthy indicated Lewis made a choice to land the blows, but said they were part of the game.
The loss marked Blaydes third stoppage by way of KO or TKO. Lewis picked up his seventh UFC performance bonus.