MMA Fighting confirmed the news with multiple people close to the fighters, who spoke on condition of anonymity following an initial report from ESPN. The Feb. 20 event does not yet have an official location or fight card.
Lewis and Blaydes were scheduled to fight Nov. 28 at UFC Vegas 15, but Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19 one day prior to the event and was ruled out of competition. With no time to find a new opponent, the promotion sought a new date to rebook the fight.
Blaydes and Lewis are veterans of the heavyweight division but have never faced off. Prior to the first bout, Blaydes said the UFC was protecting Lewis from a loss, which brought a shrug from “The Black Beast.”
Now, Lewis will put a three-fight winning streak on the line against Blaydes, who’s won his past four. As a wrestler, Blaydes’ style presents a known threat to Lewis, though the knockout artist has shown surprising skills on the mat in recent fights. Most recently, Lewis managed to avoid Aleksei Oleinik’s submissions and rebound with a quick knockout. Blaydes most recently outpointed ex-Bellator champ Alexander Volkov.