Curtis Blaydes proved once again on Saturday night in Abu Dhabi that he is one of the most dangerous heavyweights in mixed martial arts today.
Blaydes (12-2, 1 NC) was too much for foe Shamil Abdurakhimov in one of the featured bouts of UFC 242, as he took him down repeatedly and eventually scored a TKO 2:22 into the second round. “Razor” unloaded a punishing array of punches and elbows to the Russian’s head and body against the cage, eventually prompting referee Marc Goddard to intervene.
When looking back on his performance and how the fight unfolded, the Naperville, Ill., native wasn’t surprised in the least.
“It feels really good to get the win and I'm really excited to go for the next one,” he said after his triumph. “The fight was exactly how we predicted it might happen; how to hold him, get him on the ground, takedowns, everything.”
Blaydes is like every other top contender in that he eventually wants to be crowned world champion. However, the monstrous Elevation Fight Team product knows that he is a few fights away from realizing that dream. He has won two in a row, but this current winning streak comes on the heels of a first-round drubbing from Francis Ngannou, a man he’s lost to twice.
Blaydes mentioned after his win that he understands he will not be squaring off against former champion Daniel Cormier or his conqueror, current heavyweight king Stipe Miocic, next time out. Blaydes would assuredly desire another crack at Ngannou, but that seems unlikely, considering he’s 0-2 against the Paris resident. He did state that he thinks Junior dos Santos is a logical foe, but didn’t overstep his boundaries by demanding a matchup with the former champ.
“We have now got to wait and see what happens next,” he said. “But I am ready for anything, anyone.”