A major narrative heading into the UFC Beijing is that Francis Ngannou is a man who is in a make-or-break situation when he steps into the Octagon with Curtis Blaydes. Someone whom many pegged at the beginning of the year as a potential 2018 Fighter of the Year winner, Francis Ngannou has instead gone 0-2 and is now looking down the barrel of an 0-3 record with a very tough Curtis Blaydes awaiting him in Bejing. Blaydes, a student of the game, is well aware of Ngannou’s struggles, including those psychological in nature, and Blaydes is also aware of the danger such a psyche can present:
“I’m gonna treat him as a wounded animal and that’s when a wounded animal is at their most violent,” Blaydes told FanSided on Wednesday “When they’re backed up into a corner and that’s where he is right now,” said Blaydes. “He knows another loss – it doesn’t look well, and it could very well end up being what gets him released so I know he’s gonna be coming out and hopefully be the best version of him that we’ve seen yet.
“He’s fighting for his next contract right now. He knows that if he loses, he could end up on the chopping block so I’m gonna fight him as if he has the belt because this is what’s gonna lead me to getting the belt. If I beat him, that’s another step in the direction for me to get the title shot so I can’t afford to take him lightly. And I won’t.”
Curtis Blaydes has made no secret that his eye is on only one prize: the UFC heavyweight champoionship. And with the mindset of treating the Predator as a wounded animal, Curtis Blaydes’s hunt for gold may enter the red zone with a victory in the UFC Beijing main event.
What are your thoughts on these comments from Curtis Blaydes ahead of his main event against Francis Ngannou?