Heavyweight hopefuls Curtis Blaydes and Daniel Omielanczuk somehow managed to get featured on UFC 213’s pay-per-view (PPV) main card, which emanated live from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, tonight (Sat., July 8, 2017). And it was certainly a head-scratcher as the two big men hugged, slogged and slugged for 15 boring minutes en route to a unanimous decision win for Blaydes.
Omielanczuk opened the action with a stiff uppercut, which Blaydes shrugged and then lumbered in for a takedown. Omielanczuk was stopped by the fence and Blaydes went to work with knees to his belly, which the referee deemed were illegal and restarted them in the center of the cage. The two big men found themselves right back along the fence, hand fighting and clinching for position, while also trading knees. Omielanczuk uncorked a solid kick to the body as Blaydes tried to close the distance and get the fight on the ground. Blaydes dirty-boxed him along the fence for a bit before they once again returned to the center of the Octagon. Blaydes shot in for another takedown, but once again Omielanczuk defended it very well. They once again got tangled up along the fence, trading knees and other short shots until the bell blared to end the round.
Blaydes started round two pumping a long left jab before opening up with some harder, faster combinations that sent Omielanczuk back up against the fence once again. Back to the center of the cage and Blaydes continued to snap Omielanczuk’s head back with a mixture of jabs. Omielanczuk couldn’t muster up much offense, failing to put together any meaningful combinations. With two minutes remaining, Blaydes shot in for another failed takedown, prompting the restless “Sin City” crowd to voice their displeasure in the form of boos. An accidental low blow from Blaydes shortly thereafter did nothing to turn their frowns upside down. Overall, it was a very slow and slogging five minutes of mixed martial arts (MMA).
With his back against the wall, Omielanczuk came out swinging for the fences. Blaydes ducked under more than one haymaker and once again drove Omielanczuk into the fence, looking for a takedown that once again didn’t materialize. Blaydes landed some nice short shots along the fence on the break, but Omielanczuk didn’t appear to have much left in his shapely gas tank. Blaydes stung him with a jab as Omielanczuk responded with a body kick. Omielanczuk landed two nice looping lefts, compelling Blaydes to go for a takedown that, surprise, didn’t happen. Then Omielanczuk turned the tables, diving in for a takedown, which Blaydes eventually fought off and broke free. Omielanczuk threw caution to the wind with the bout coming to a close, uncorking a spinning back kick that caught nothing but air.
That’s now three straight wins for Blaydes since dropping his Octagon debut against top-ranked division contender Francis Ngannou 18 months ago ... and two of them are finishes. He’s a young fighter who is clearly still developing. Nevertheless, he deserves a step up in competition his next time out to determine if he is a legit Heavyweight prospect or just a fun “Prelims” project.
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