If Curtis Blaydes can beat Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC Vegas 19, he will have a five-game win streak with a 9-1 record overall in his last 10 appearances, but he may not yet win a shot at the heavyweight title. yet.
Despite a dominating career in the division that already includes wins over four of the top 15 ranked heavyweight fighters, Blaydes is stuck on the outside looking inward when it comes to the title contest because of the matchup already determined at this point.
He doesn’t care if he has to clean up the division for after the title
Reigning heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will face Francis Ngannou in a rematch at the UFC 260 main event in March, with the winner expected to face former light heavyweight king Jon Jones in his division debut. That almost certainly concludes 2021 when it comes to heavyweight title fights, which means that Blaydes will likely have to fight at least one more time or possibly even two after facing Lewis to finally earn his own shot.
«I just roll my eyes. I’m not old so I’m not in a rush so I’ll get there eventually. It’s honestly not even a guarantee that Jon will take the fight because I heard he also has his eyes on the winner of Israel Adesanya’s fight against Jan Blachowicz. If you have your eyes on that one, you are not fully involved in this heavyweight showdown, so it is not a guarantee. I’m not worried about it. If it happens, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
“In the worst case, I have always repeated, if I have to clean the division, I will. I will do that. I have a family at home that I take care of, so the more active I am, the better for them. The ultimate goal is the belt, but we will achieve it.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 15: Stipe Miocic celebrates after his victory over Daniel Cormier in their UFC heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 252 event at UFC APEX on August 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC)
While he may be playing a bit on hold, Blaydes has faith that his time will eventually come and ultimately, He anticipates that he will have a chance to claim the title while probably facing the greatest heavyweight in history.
«I think Stipe Miocic is the best of all time in the heavyweight division. He has the most title defenses. He has the most back-to-back defenses and only all the guys he had to beat to get there. He had to beat Junior dos Santos. He had to beat Alistair Overeem. He had to beat Daniel Cormier twice. It has practically passed through the glove.
For Miocic to remain champion, he will have to go through Ngannou a second time and then face a fighter in Jones, who is widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters the sport of mixed martial arts has ever produced.
Miocic already gave Ngannou a lopsided loss in their first match and Blaydes doesn’t expect the rematch to be much different, but he admits that Jones’ fight is one he definitely hopes to see, although he still sees the same result in the end.
“I think the only difference, if anything, would not be from Stipe because his game plan worked. It would be Ngannou, maybe he would be a little more reserved this time, not so aggressive«.
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