The UFC kicked off its first Las Vegas residency of 2021 on Saturday, February 6 with UFC Vegas 18. The 18th card, not counting numbered PPV events, to unfold at the UFC Apex since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
This time out, it was heavyweights topping the bill. That would be a theme over the next two months: at UFC Vegas 18, it was Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov in the main event. In the coming weeks, however, Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis, and Ciryl Gane vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik will also have top billing on Fight Night events. And at UFC 260 in March, the crown jewel: Stipe Miocic will defend his title against Francis Ngannou for the second time.
With the title back in play, even more was up for grabs for whoever put on a big showing out of the upcoming heavyweight headliners. While Curtis Blaydes was the frontrunner, a Derrick Lewis win could spoil that, and open to the door for a fighter like Overeem to jump the line.
Of course, Jon Jones was out there, playing the role of wild card. The heavyweight landscape in 2021 necessitated not just a win, but a standout performance, for whoever hoped to land a title shot.
Following the UFC Vegas 18 card, which also featured a key bout between Frankie Edgar and Cory Sandhagen at bantamweight,
tune in above for the post-fight press conference. Tonight’s press conference appears to be a no-go.