Curtis Blaydes is quickly becoming one of my favorite fighters.
Not only is “Razor” slicing his way through a stagnant heavyweight division, the 6’4”, 255-pound bruiser says whatever the f—k is on his mind. He’s also not afraid to give credit where credit is due, like in the case of UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
Brought in to help the full-time firefighter deal with hulking heavyweights, Blaydes — a collegiate wrestling standout — was able to hold his own on the mats. But when it was time to lace up the gloves and throw hands ... well, not so much.
From his conversation with Submission Radio:
“On the feet he destroyed me. I was an amateur, this is back in 2013. I’m one of those guys, I’m not gonna lie to you when someone is better. Like, he was leaps and bounds better than me. He was supposed to be, like, at the time he was going up against Gabriel Gonzaga. So yeah, it would have been weird if they brought me in there and I just started picking him apart. That probably would have been a problem for Stipe. No, he handled me like he was supposed to. But when we wrestled, like I said, pretty back and forth. He would go, (in) I guess an hour practice, he would get two takedowns, I would get two takedowns, or maybe he would get one more, maybe I would get one more.”
A lot has changed over the last five years.
Blaydes, 27, will tangle with top-ranked heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem at the upcoming UFC 225 pay-per-view (PPV) event, locked and loaded for Sat., June 9, 2018 inside United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
The 9-1 (1 NC) “Razor” increased his stock in the 265-pound division by knocking around longtime veteran and global fan favorite Mark Hunt. Turning away the “Super Samoan” was the third straight win for Blaydes and left him ranked No. 5 in the division.
Overeem (43-16, 1 NC), meanwhile, was oh-so-close to a Miocic rematch before running into the thunderous fists of top contender Francis Ngannou. The hulking Dutchman is 5-2 since late 2014 and still very much a factor in the division title hunt.
Will Blaydes 2.0 use the hands he didn't have in 2013 to detonate “Demolition Man?”