Justin Willis is brimming with confidence ahead of his upcoming contest against Curtis Blaydes at UFC Nashville, and part of that confidence can be credited to Willis’s belief in his overall skillset as well as a mental edge that he has against Blaydes, whom Willis believes has displayed fear in the past:
“I’m a complete martial artist, and I’m becoming more and more complete every single day,” Willis said on MMAjunkie radio recently. “So when it comes to Mark Hunt, he was a striker, where people thought that he’d be able to drown me in his striking. And even guys like Brock Lesnar didn’t want to strike with him and took him down. Guys like the fight before took him down. Curtis Blaydes took him down.
“To me, that’s cowardice. And we’re in a game where this is a ‘kill or be killed’ game. I’m going after to kill everybody. So when it came to people telling me that [Mark Hunt] was a striker, I knew in my heart of hearts that I was a better striker. “
What’s more, Justin Willis believes that he has the advantage over Curtis Blaydes in the one aspect of Blaydes’s game that Blaydes feels he is strongest at: his wrestling.
“Just like with Curtis Blaydes, I know I’m the better wrestler. And that’s not a pride thing. That’s the thing where I put in years and years of hard work being the nail. And what I mean by being the nail is with Cain and DC, I was the sparring partner…literally the only one who stuck around for years until I learned how to become the hammer.
“I haven’t seen in any fights where he answered correctly the moments where he became the nail. He automatically went to what he was comfortable with, and that’s wrestling. And I am utterly comfortable there.”
Do you agree with Justin Willis? Did Curtis Blaydes show cowardice with his wrestling-heavy approach to fighting heavy-handed Mark Hunt?