Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes, who sits at No. 3 in the 265-pound rankings, understands that most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans were underwhelmed by his unanimous decision victory over Alexander Volkov.
Now it’s time for fans to understand that he doesn’t care.
Especially because “Razor” previously told the combat sports community exactly what he planned to do when the cage door closed last Sat. night in Las Vegas. And to his credit, Blaydes fulfilled his promise by out-wrestling Alexander Volkov in the UFC on ESPN 11 main event.
“I think I know who I am now: I’m a heel,” Blaydes said after the fight (via MMA Fighting). “That’s probably the best part about this win is I predicted this, and I did it for 25 minutes. It didn’t look the best, but I’m okay with having a gritty win like that. I know a lot of fans didn’t like it. I’m okay with that. It makes me happy. I’m very happy with the result.”
I’m sure he’s also very happy with his win bonus.
Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC) has now captured four straight wins and to date, has only been defeated by power-punching heavyweight title contender Francis Ngannou. The likelihood that “Razor” will be in contention for the 265-pound strap, despite his ranking, seems remote.
Probably because UFC President Dana White was not impressed with his performance.
It’s hard to say where Blaydes goes from here. The only fight that makes sense from a rankings perspective — that includes an opponent he hasn’t already defeated — would be Derrick Lewis, assuming “Black Beast” can get past Alexey Oleinik when they collide later this summer in Las Vegas.