Curtis Blaydes believes Derrick Lewis carries more knockout power than Francis Ngannou.
Ngannou is set to defend his heavyweight title against Ciryl Gane later this month at UFC 270. Lewis, meanwhile, returned to winning ways following his defeat to Gane with a first-round knockout victory over Chris Daukaus last month.
Blaydes is one of the few fighters to have faced both men.
He would lose to Ngannou via TKO twice before getting knocked out cold by Lewis in their headliner last year. Those three defeats remain the only blemishes of the Illinois native’s 19-fight career.
Curtis Blaydes: I’ve Never Been Put To Sleep Until Lewis Did It
Given how frequently Ngannou and Lewis knock their opponents out, many combat sports fans have debated over the years as to who carries the most knockout power.
Blaydes was asked that question in a recent interview and went with “The Black Beast” for one reason alone — the fact that he actually put him to sleep unlike Ngannou.
“Well, Derrick. Obviously, I’d never been put to sleep, he put me to sleep. Gonna have to give it to him,” Blaydes told MMA News. “When we (Blaydes and Ngannou) fought the first time, that was a doctor stoppage, I was not out, but I guess it goes down as a TKO. And then in Beijing, again, he dropped me twice in rapid succession, and then the referee jumped in, but I was aware, I remember everything.
“When Derrick Lewis knocked me out, I woke up in the ambulance, so there you go. That’s a big difference.”
While that’s more than fair, Lewis also caught Blaydes with a perfectly-timed uppercut as the latter was attempting a takedown. One could argue Ngannou would have also put him out if he connected the same way.
Regardless, the fact remains that Lewis is the only one as of now to truly put Blaydes out.