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Curtis Blaydes no longer looking to fight down in rankings: ‘I deserve a title eliminator fight’

UFC Fight Night: Blaydes v Aspinall Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Curtis Blaydes is done punching down.

Like UFC Long Island the weekend prior (July 16, 2022), UFC London this past Saturday (July 23, 2022) also ended rather anti-climactically. Tom Aspinall’s knee only needed 15 seconds inside the Octagon after an early leg kick before it said, “Nope, let’s go home.

Never an ideal way to win, the result officially goes into the record books as a technical knockout for Blaydes, extending his current streak to three (watch highlights). Consistently a top contender among the Heavyweight ranks, “Razor” is only looking to go up from here on out.

“I’m not going to fight someone again ranked below me,” Blaydes told The MMA Hour. “I did it for Aspinall because I knew a win over him would be legitimate, and he’s ranked sixth, but could easily be Top 5. So, that was different. But, I’m not going to fight someone ranked below me. I want the winner of Tai Tuivasa [vs. Ciryl Gane].

“I’ve earned it, I deserve it. I’ve been in the Top 5 since 2018, ever since I beat Alistair [Overeem]. I deserve a title eliminator fight.”

There hasn’t been any official word yet on the extent of Aspinall’s injury, but whenever dealing with knee-related issues, the timetables can be longer than most. Still a supremely talented rising star in the division, Aspinall has plenty of time to regain momentum upon his inevitable return.

Despite their friendliness after the fight, Blaydes expects a rematch between the two down the line.

“I wanted to earn the respect of everyone and I feel like I didn’t get the opportunity to do that,” Blaydes said. “We’re gonna scrap again. He’s only 29, he’ll be back. He’ll be here, it’s just hard to scrap a guy you like.”

For complete UFC London results and coverage click here.

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