Curtis Blaydes is not giving in to outside pressure to change the fighting style that has benefited him throughout his MMA career.
This Saturday’s UFC Vegas 19 will feature a battle of behemoths when Curtis Blaydes crashes with Derrick Lewis in the main event. The last time Blaydes was in a main event was in his most recent fight against Alexander Volkov in June of last year. Blaydes used his bread-and-butter wrestling approach to get the job done and earn a unanimous-decision victory, but his performance was heavily criticized by fans as well as the UFC boss himself Dana White.
Heading into his fight with Lewis this Saturday, Blaydes has some news for critics at every level: He will not change for anyone who doesn’t have the same skin in the game as he does.
“If I win the exact same way, I would be fine, because guess what, it’s another win, it’s a win bonus,” Blaydes told ESPN. “I don’t know if a lot of people care, but I have a family. I’m trying to feed my family. I don’t care if you want me to risk my win bonus, which is $100,000, to stand and bang with a guy who has terrible wrestling. I’m just not going to do it. Unless you defend every takedown attempt, I’m not going to stop trying to wrestle you. You have to deter me, and I don’t think Derrick is going to deter me.”
One Area Of Criticism Blaydes Will Eventually Need to Address
After Blaydes was on the wrong side of Dana White’s ire following his victory over Volkov, the wrestling expert shared his theory on why White criticized him so heavily, believing that it went beyond one performance. Blaydes felt that the criticism was also due to his outspokenness about fighter pay among other issues.
One thing that Blaydes seems to be overlooking about the criticism is that it was his lack of cardio in the championship rounds against Volkov that may have been criticized more than the style he used to rack up the lead early on. Perhaps we’ll get a chance to see if Blaydes has worked on this part of his game if his fight against Derrick Lewis makes it that far this Saturday. But the one thing we know will remain is the wrestling-heavy approach that has made him one of the toughest men to defeat in the entire UFC.
Do you think Curtis Blaydes should change his fighting style?