Curtis Blaydes has some career advice for Chris Daukaus, the man he just knocked out (watch highlights here) in the second round of their UFC Columbus main event last night (Sat., March 26, 2022) inside Nationwide Arena.
“I think honestly, no shade, he should probably drop down to light heavyweight,” Blaydes said at the post-fight press conference. “Just, not everyone’s a heavyweight, it’s okay. Just because you weigh 245, does not mean you’re a heavyweight. So yeah, I think you should drop down.”
Coming into Columbus with just a single loss in his five UFC fights , it’s not an argument Daukaus has had to hear too much. But now that he’s ended up on the wrong end of two nasty knockouts from legit Heavyweight big boys, perhaps it is something to take into consideration.
Then again, are you really doing anything wrong when you lose to someone who may be on the cusp of a title shot? Blaydes certainly thinks that’s exactly where he is.
“I do believe I deserve an interim title shot,” he said. “I do believe I have the resume and I have the skill sets but we’ll see. I’m not in a rush. I’m not broke and I want what I want. I don’t want to fight guys just to fight guys. I’m trying to get to the belt so whoever that is, whatever route I have to take to get there the fastest, is the route I want.
“I have a pre-determined route: whoever I believe is going to me there the fastest And right now I believe it would be Gane, but it might be Stipe. If it’s Stipe, I’ll take Stipe.”
Blaydes’ apparent preference for Gane may have something to do with Miocic manhandling in training sessions nearly a decade ago.
“We worked out together, years ago when I was not very good,” Blaydes revealed. “He destroyed me every sparring. I don’t have no awesome sparring stories. He was levels and levels above me. I helped him get ready for Gonzaga. That was back in 2012. I had just begun my amateur career in that year.”
Things are very different now, though.
“I believe I’m on his level. I believe I can take him down. I know I can take him down because I did take him down. But I also believe, if we get in a striking battle, I can strike with him. I’ve got the footwork. I’ve got the acumen. I believe in my coaches. I know I can hang with anybody on the feet.”
With Heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, out for the rest of the year after knee surgery, heavyweight is full of interim title hopefuls. You can add Curtis Blaydes to the list that includes Stipe Miocic, Tai Tuivasa, Derrick Lewis, and Tom Aspinall. Oh, and Jon Jones, always a remote possibility when dream matchmaking. Who would you like to see fight for the runner up strap, Maniacs?
For complete UFC Columbus: “Blaydes vs. Daukaus” results and play-by-play, click HERE.