It turns out that Curtis Blaydes’s respectful callout of Stipe Miocic may have been intended not to get the ball rolling on a potential fight against the former world champion, but to keep it rolling. If Curtis Blaydes’ tweet yesterday is to be understood, either the UFC reached out to Stipe immediately after Blaydes’s challenge through social media or the promotion was already on board prior to said tweet:
“I understand you’ve been offered the fight, I hope you can accept. @stipemiocic @ufc @mataleongmt I think it’d be a great edition to the 25th anniversary card #ufcdenver #heavyweightTings #letsscrap #keepingtherazorsharp #letsputonashow”
I understand you’ve been offered the fight, I hope you can accept. @stipemiocic @ufc @mataleongmt I think it’d be a great edition to the 25th anniversary card #ufcdenver #heavyweightTings #letsscrap #keepingtherazorsharp #letsputonashow
— Curtis Blaydes (@RazorBlaydes265) August 8, 2018
Stipe has yet to respond to Blaydes publicly, but what he has been doing is campaigning for a rematch against Daniel Cormier. Miocic dropped the heavyweight championship to Cormier last month (July) at UFC 226, and after setting the record for most successful heavyweight title defenses (3), Stipe has made it clear that what he feels he deserves, and it’s not a match against Curtis Blaydes:
“I want a title shot. I deserve it,” Stipe told ESPN. “[Lesnar] hasn’t fought in how long? For him to get a title shot, as I get thrown to the side? It just seems like they are desperate for pay-per-views. I cleaned out the division. I defended it more than anyone, and you’re gonna tell me I don’t deserve a chance to get it back? Get out of here. Kiss my ass if you don’t think I deserve that.”
While Stipe is convinced he deserves his rematch, Blaydes has made his peace that the UFC isn’t a place where what you “deserve” necessarily matters, as evident by Brock Lesnar skipping to the front of the line despite not officially winning a contest in eight years. Blaydes has instead decided to occupy his time with what he can control, and that is sharing the Octagon with the best opponents possible.
Blaydes has currently won four consecutive bouts, and his only loss came by way of a doctor’s stoppage in 2016 against Francis Ngannou. Blaydes holds victories over both members of the UFC Moscow main event, Alexey Oleynik and Mark Hunt, as well as a victory over former title challenger Alistair Overeem. A victory over Miocic would be the biggest feat of Blaydes’s career, and you can be sure that he is well aware of that.
If this fight against Curtis Blaydes was offered to Stipe Miocic, do you think he should accept it?