The next contender for the UFC heavyweight championship could be determined shortly after Valentine's Day.
ESPN's Ariel Helwani reported on Monday that Curtis Blaydes (14-2-0) will face Derrick Lewis (24-7-0, one no contest) in the main event of the UFC Fight Night show on Feb. 20. The two were supposed to fight on Nov. 27, but that matchup was postponed after Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19.
Currently No. 2 in the official UFC rankings for the heavyweight division, Blaydes has won four consecutive fights. The 29-year-old toppled Alexander Volkov in June in his last appearance in the octagon.
Lewis, No. 4, is coming off three straight victories. He defeated Aleksei Oleinik back on Aug. 8 and will turn 36 years old less than two full weeks before he fights Blaydes.
Helwani added that the winner of Blaydes-Lewis could be next in line for a heavyweight title bout. Current champion Stipe Miocic is expected to defend the belt against No. 1 contender and knockout artist Francis Ngannou at some point this year.
Former light heavyweight champion and proven pay-per-view draw Jon Jones is moving to the heavyweight division and could potentially leapfrog either Blaydes or Lewis to fight the winner of Miocic-Ngannou in late 2021.