Prize fighting is unlike any other sport because what you deserve is not always the same as what you get — or what fans are willing to pay for — which is why No. 2-ranked Curtis Blaydes could be stuck toiling away at 265 pounds for another year or so.
After all, 2021 is all booked up.
Stipe Miocic is set to defend his heavyweight title against Francis Ngannou in the UFC 260 pay-per-view (PPV) main event in late March, with the winner expected to face former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones later this year.
That’s assuming everything goes to plan.
“I just roll my eyes,” the 29 year-old Blaydes told MMA Fighting about the state of the heavyweight division. “I’m not old so I’m not in a rush so I’ll get there eventually. Honestly, it’s not even a guarantee that Jon will take the fight cause I heard he also has his eyes on the winner of the Izzy versus Blachowicz fight. If he’s got his eyes on that one, he’s not all in on this heavyweight matchup so it’s not a guarantee.”
Jones could opt to make his return to 205 pounds after Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz duke it out for the light heavyweight strap “Bones” vacated late last year. That scenario doesn’t make much sense considering all the reasons he skipped town, coupled with his desire to keep Adesanya thirsty for money.
“I’m not worried about it,” Blaydes continued. “If it does happen, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Worst case, I’ve always iterated, if I have to clean out the division, I will. I will do that. I have a family at home that I provide for so the more active I am, the better for them. The ultimate goal is the belt but we’ll get there.”
In order to get there he’ll first need to rid the division of No. 4-ranked Derrick Lewis in the UFC Vegas 19 main event on Sat. night (Feb. 20) from inside APEX in Las Vegas. And considering Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC) has two previous losses to Ngannou, no doubt “Razor” will be rooting for Miocic to prevail this weekend in “Sin City.”