Curtis Blaydes has seen his career propel in recent months. His recent third-round knockout of MMA legend Alistair Overeem has launched Blaydes into the title picture. Following his impressive victory, Blaydes clamored for a title shot, although, there is another bout he’d consider in the meantime.
Blaydes has declared that if he is not given a title fight in his next bout, he wants to square off with knockout artist, Francis Ngannou. Blaydes and Ngannou have a previous history with “The Predator” having beaten Blaydes:
“I’m only open to taking another fight it if it’s Francis Ngannou,” Blaydes said on The MMA Hour.
“That’s really the only one that wouldn’t really be about the money. That would be about, like, I just want to run that back. And I’m not making excuses, he won fair and square.”
Blaydes continued: “I let him hit my eye too many times and that’s what happens, the doctors have to be involved. So he did a great job, but I would like to get a full 15 minutes with him.”
“But that’s only if I don’t get the title shot because I think I’m ready. I think you can make the argument it makes sense based upon the rankings and the current matchups. Ngannou’s already had his turn, and to be honest, he didn’t even look good.”
“I think me beating Alistair in the fashion I did is a bit, on paper, looks better than Alexander Volkov beating Fabricio Werdum in the way he did. Not taking anything away from Volkov, I just think my win is slightly better than his, so I think it puts me ahead of him.”
Blaydes made his debut under the UFC’s lights in 2016. The first fight he undertook was against none-other than Francis Ngannou. The two have both surged up the heavyweight division in those couple of years since their first encounter. Blaydes was finished by Ngannou as a result of a doctors stoppage, who then went onto gain four first-round knockout wins before falling short against current champion, Stipe Miocic. Blaydes, meanwhile, has gone undefeated since.
“It’s still processing. It’s still almost like a dream,” Blaydes said. “It’s almost like the more I think about it, the more I think about all the things I did right, like my footwork, my movement, taking the knee to the jaw and still being able to finish the double, getting out of those heel hooks, and then just the finish, that last round, putting it all together”
Curtis Blaydes continued: “I’m just happy I could do it in Chicago at the United Center. I think out of all the scenarios, that was the best one, the best way it could’ve gone down, hands down.”
Who do you want to see Curtis Blaydes face next?