It is not irrational to think that the winner of this fight deserves a title shot. Blaydes has won three in a row, including a knockout of former champion Junior dos Santos, and Volkov is 5-1 in the UFC, which includes a victory over former champion Fabricio Werdum.
But unfortunately for both of them, there is a problem in the heavyweight division. Champion Stipe Miocic, who has not fought since last summer due to an eye injury, was recently slated to defend his belt against Daniel Cormier in a trilogy fight in August.
Top contender Francis Ngannou has continued to reap victories, recently stopping Jairzinho Rozenstruik’s rise to the top, knocking him out in just 20 seconds last May.
Ngannou’s four-fight winning streak is more impressive than Blaydes and Volkov’s runs, and “The Predator” has two wins over Blaydes. Essentially He has an advantage over the protagonists of this Saturday’s fight for an upcoming title shot after Cormier, so the two athletes fighting this weekend will probably have to keep waiting.
Blaydes recently said that if he beats Volkov, he won’t fight again until he gets a shot at the title, and it is understandable. The 29-year-old fighter is one of the best in the division, and a victory over Volkov would mean another great name on his resume.
Sitting could benefit Blaydes, but it could also hurt his career if the UFC decides not to give him a chance.. Ultimately, it wouldn’t be strange to see the Blaydes-Volkov winner wind up taking another fight as the other title bouts unfold.