Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes found himself in hot water a few weeks back for his lengthy rant about female fighters who get preferential treatment because of their sex appeal, regardless of whether or not they can actually fight.
Blaydes’ previous argument landed was somewhere between Fedor Emelianenko’s “stay home and raise kids” and Georges St-Pierre’s “watching women fight is hard” and now “Razor” is hoping to clarify those remarks ahead of his Octagon return.
“I love watching the top girls get in there and put on high displays of fighting,” Blaydes told MMA Fighting. “We just saw UFC 248, Joanna [Jedrzejczyk] and [Zhang] Weili, that was one of the best fights I’ve ever seen regardless of gender. That was one of the best performances I’ve seen ever. The back and forth, the high IQ techniques, the counters, the movement, I like that stuff.”
UFC recently created a women’s pound-for-pound list in its weekly rankings to complement the three divisions already in play. Featherweight is expected to follow, assuming 145-pound champion Amanda Nunes doesn’t retire after becoming a mom.
“But just like there’s dudes in the men’s division I feel don’t really do a good job representing MMA, [and] I feel they don’t deserve a roster spot,” Blaydes continued. “I’m not dropping names, but there are dudes who don’t deserve it and there are girls who don’t. It’s equal opportunity... Your record should be indicative of a [world-class] fighter. Being in the UFC with a 6-5 record or 5-4, it doesn’t look like you belong in the UFC.”
The promotion faced some backlash from fans after booking Jessica Eye vs. Cynthia Calvillo for the UFC on ESPN 10 main event last weekend in Las Vegas, though to be fair, Eye is a former title contender who at the time was ranked No. 1 in the world.
“After watching some of these fights, the skill level is not there,” Blaydes continued. “They’re using the same combo over and over and over, and it’s not effective. You don’t have a plan B. You have one combo and you’ve been fighting for eight years. You should have one more than combo after eight years in MMA. There are a lot of girls like that. They have one skill set, one move and I get them signing with the UFC and I get them getting paid. I think those spots would go to other girls, but they’re not as marketable I guess.”
Blaydes (13-2, 1 NC), who turned 29 back in February, battles fellow heavyweight contender Alexander Volkov in the UFC on ESPN 11 main event this Sat. night (June 20, 2020) inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.