Monday, June 27, 2022

Curtis Blaydes: MMA Has The Worst Fans

Out of all the major sports and prominent organizations, UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes believes that mixed martial arts has the worst fanbase.

It would be fair to say that a portion of MMA fans have a malleable opinion when it comes to fighters, and it’s largely based on the individual’s most recent appearance. One man who has heavily experience that in the past is Blaydes.

The #4-ranked heavyweight contender’s brutal ground-and-pound finish of Alistair Overeem and impressive TKO against former champion Junior dos Santos were quickly forgotten when he grappled to an unentertaining five-round decision win over Alexander Volkov.

The reaction certainly wasn’t helped by UFC President Dana White’s public and negative response to the performance.

One fighter who has found themselves in a similar position is former two-time strawweight queen Rose Namajunas.

Entering 2022, “Thug Rose” was on top of the world after a memorable year that saw her experience a second championship crowning courtesy of a head-kick knockout against Zhang Weili, as well as victory in an enjoyable five-round rematch with “Magnum” at Madison Square Garden.

But in the space of 25 minutes at UFC 274 last month, a bizarre and lackluster performance en route to defeat against Carla Esparza led to widespread criticism and hate.

During an interview on Hannibal TV, Blaydes discussed the fan reaction to Namajunas’ title loss, citing it as evidence that MMA and the UFC has the worst fanbase out of all the major US-based organizations.

“In terms of the fans online, talking smack, saying she’s awful… that’s one of the things I don’t like about MMA. I think we have the worst fans out of the collective, like, NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB; we have the worst fans,” said Blaydes. “They have the most knee-jerk reactions, and they’re very wishy-washy. You’re only as good as your last fight.

“There was a time when everyone was saying the same things that they’re saying about her (Namajunas) — they were saying about Izzy (Israel Adesanya), they were saying it about Anderson Silva, they were saying it about GSP, they were saying it about me,” added Blaydes. “They watch one fight and that’s like, your whole résumé right there. That’s how they get their judgements.”

After his latest performance, a second-round TKO victory over Chris Daukaus in the UFC Columbus main event in March, Blaydes has seemingly overturned much of the negative fan sentiment that was often associated with him — not that he appears too bothered either way.

Nevertheless, fans will next get to see “Razor” in action at UFC London next month. In the July 23 main event, he’ll collide with #6-ranked contender Tom Aspinall.

Whatever the result and however he performs, it seems safe to say that Blaydes will be on the receiving end of a hostile environment when he enters the Englishman’s home territory.

Do you agree with Curtis Blaydes? Does MMA have the worst fans?

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