Unless you count the overturned win over Adam Milstead due to the Devil’s tobacco, Curtis Blaydes has quietly stacked up a five-fight win streak. His latest over Mark Hunt was the biggest of his career and he’s looking to use that as a springboard right into his huge Chicago fight with Alistair Overeem. Overeem will be battling to keep his spot, while Blaydes has a chance to finally reach the top of the heavyweight division for a shot at the title.
“I feel like I’m getting a bit more of a push, but this isn’t a trap fight for [Alistair Overeem] or me, this is just good matchmaking. It’s really the only fight that made sense. Cause they weren’t gonna give him [Francis] Ngannou again, they weren’t gonna give him another title shot without beating someone else, they weren’t gonna give him Mark Hunt again. It was either me or Cain [Velasquez], and I’m guessing maybe Cain’s injured still, I don’t know what’s going on with that. But he didn’t really have too many options, so it only made sense that it would be me and him.”
“I think me winning, me beating Alistair, the number two contender right now and Cain coming off such a long layoff, no disrespect, but like I said, if I beat Alistair it’s my turn. Absolutely. Once again, that’s the only match-up that makes the most sense. We’re all deserving of a title shot, but I think if I beat Alistair, I’m next. It’s my turn. I think it’s pretty much an extension of my last fight. He’s taller and he doesn’t – I’m not gonna say he doesn’t have power, cause he does, but he doesn’t have like Mark Hunt legendary KO power. It’s pretty much an extension of that. I gotta watch his hands, watch his feet and use my boxing to get in close enough to get the takedown and then from there do what I do best.” — Curtis Blaydes speaking to Submission Radio.
We all know Stipe Miocic has his hands full with UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 226, but beating Alistair Overeem could put Curtis Blaydes next in line for that heavyweight strap. There is plenty of UFC coming after that big June card, so if he comes out of UFC 225 without any major injuries, he could be booked pretty quick for something in the fall or winter.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 3/15/2018.