No. 4-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight contender, Curtis Blaydes, was back in action this afternoon (Sat., Sept. 7, 2019) at UFC 242, which took place inside The Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, against the No. 9-ranked Shamil Abdurakhimov. It was a dangerous bout for “Razor,” who was on the cusp of a world title shot late last year before Francis Ngannou dashed those grand plans.
Nevertheless, he handled his business as most thought he would, dominating Abdurakhimov for 1.5 rounds en route to a bloody second round stoppage.
Abdurakhimov — who was riding a three-fight win streak coming into the bout, including a big win over former division champion Andrei Arlovski — was the biggest underdog on the entire card. And it didn’t take long for Blaydes to demonstrate the reason, scoring a lightning-fast takedown to begin his ground-and-pound fest. Abdurakhimov attempted to escape, but Blaydes slammed him right back on the canvas and continued giving him the business. After about two minutes on the ground, Abdurakhimov was finally able to escape and get the match upright; however, it only lasted several seconds before Blaydes had him on the ground again, controlling the Russian’s wrists and boxing his ears from back position. Abdurakhimov tried to get back to his feet once more, but Blaydes dumped him right back onto the mat and eventually gained full mount, which is where the pair remained until the first round came to a close.
Blaydes really poured on the punishment to end the opening frame — appeared exhausted and dazed heading into his corner. And “Razor” wasted zero time bum-rushing Abdurakhimov to start the second stanza and putting in work. Abdurakhimov attempted to squirm out the side, but Blaydes pinned him up against the bottom of the fence and punched him in the face repeatedly. Abdurakhimov turtled onto his knees and Blaydes began to pour on the pressure until the referee in charge of the action had seen enough. Blaydes landed savage elbow across the bridge of Abdurakhimov’s nose that split it wide open. It was a good stoppage — Abdurakhimov had nothing left ... and he did not protest the stoppage.
As predicted, it was a lopsided match up, even if it was a fight between two Top 10-ranked fighters. Blaydes is just a class above and should be rewarded with an opponent who can get him closer to that elusive title shot. He was in great shape today and would give anyone at the top of the division a serious test.
Sooner rather than later, please.
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