27-Year-Old UFC Heavyweight 10-1-0, 1NC
June 12, 2018 Curtis Blaydes News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Blaydes suffered a sprained knee in his UFC 225 victory over Alistair Overeem on Saturday, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Rumors of a matchup against Alexander Volkov in the UFC's upcoming trip to Russia have been rampant since Blaydes catalogued the impressive victory, but it now appears the timing will not match up. Instead, the management team of Blaydes will lobby for a title shot, though that will require some time with current heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic tied up in a July superfight with Daniel Cormier. Blaydes won't be ready until after September, however, so the stars could align for the 27-year-old to get his wish. If that doesn't come to fruition, a rematch against Francis Ngannou could potentially be in the cards. Ngannou handed Blaydes his only true UFC defeat via doctor stoppage, despite Blaydes' pleas to continue fighting with one eye swollen almost completely shut. Should Blaydes emerge victorious in a matchup like that, the UFC would then have no choice but to give him an opportunity to win the belt.
Curtis Blaydes: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisAnd it wasn't close. Blaydes used his athleticism advantage to drag Overeem to the mat on all four of his takedown attempts. From there, it was all but over. Blaydes has terrific size, he hits hard, and he's a good grappler. His cardio remains a concern, but Blaydes showed he is now a legitimate contender. The elbows that finished off Overeem on Saturday would have taken out any man on the roster. Riding a five-fight winning streak, Blaydes is closing in on a title shot. His only career loss came against Francis Ngannou and that's a fight that the UFC could easily decide to run back in the near future.
Fantasy AnalysisBlaydes continues to churn out wins and would have put together five straight if it weren't for a positive marijuana test that eliminated one of those victories. He'll now be scheduled to fight the 37-year-old Overeem, who despite coming off a knockout loss to Fancis Ngannou in December, has been one of the better heavyweight fighters for some time. That said, Blaydes is coming off his most impressive win of his career after defeating Mark Hunt in a decision back in February, so he'll look to ride the momentum when he returns to the Octagon against Overeem.
Fantasy AnalysisBlaydes took a few good shots at the hands of Hunt and even admitted to temporarily blacking out during a moment early in the fight, but was ultimately able to withstand the onslaught and use his wrestling to sway the judges his way. The heavyweight contender will now face some mandatory time on the shelf, but could have the suspension lifted earlier if cleared by an orthopedist (which is typically the case in these scenarios). Now that he's gotten past a gatekeeper in Hunt, look for Blaydes to get matched up with a top-5 opponent when healthy.
Fantasy AnalysisCredit Blaydes for surviving Hunt's early push and fighting smart the rest of the way. He was in serious trouble when he allowed Hunt to tee off from the center of the ocatgon in Round 1 but once he turned to his wrestling the fight was over. Blaydes was credited with ten takedowns and while he didn't exactly pound Hunt with his positional advantage, Hunt was unable to do anything from the bottom. Blaydes is legit. He is just 26 years of age and he possess a nice mix of power and athleticism. The only loss of Blaydes' professional career came against Francis Ngannou in April 2016.
Fantasy AnalysisBlaydes has put together four straight wins, with his latest coming against Alexey Oleynik at UFC 217 in November. Going up against the 43-year-old Hunt, Blaydes will look to use his youth and athleticism to get the advantage on the Australian native, though he'll surely have his work cut out for him. With 10 of Hunt's 13 wins coming by knockout, Blaydes will have to avoid the heavy hand in order to continue his attempt at a run in the UFC's heavyweight division.
Fantasy AnalysisBlaydes got the victory he was looking for, but stupidity, both his own and that of referee Blake Grice nearly cost him the fight. In total control early in Round 2, Blaydes attempted to kick a downed Oleinik in the head. The kick barely grazed his ear but that was enough for Grice to call in the cage side doctor who put an end to the fight. Thankfully the New York State Athletic Commission has instituted replay and that allowed Grice to see that the illegal kick was not the reason that Oleinik was unable to continue. Blaydes used his speed to easy pick apart his opponent on the feet and he landed all four of his takedown attempts. A terrific athlete for a guy who checks in a 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, Blaydes is a legitimate dark horse to make a run in the UFC's heavyweight division.
Fantasy AnalysisBlaydes (26) has an age advantage on 40-year-old Oleinik. The added speed and agility that typically comes with youth could help "Razor" land strikes against the grappler while avoiding takedowns. Both fighters struggle to defend the takedown, so Blaydes should utilize his average 5.94 takedowns per fight average but be cautious of Oleinik's superior ground skills. However, he has seven TKOs in his 8-1 career so keeping distance and striking from the outside could be a better strategy.
Fantasy AnalysisBlaydes looked to be a favorite heading into this fight, but nearly failed to launch. The fight was slow with "Razor" missing all 13 of his takedown attempts. However, he did manage to land 72 of 168 significant strikes, 34 of which came in the final round when the two fighters let loose. Blaydes came away with an unanimous decision victory, but not unscathed. Due to possible leg and rib injuries, he will have to sit out for 180 days unless cleared earlier by a physician. Anthony Pettis, Travis Browne and Robert Whittaker were given similar suspensions pending clearance.
Fantasy AnalysisThis was a very slow fight. Blaydes had absolutely no success with his takedowns, with Omielanczuk defending every takedown Blaydes attempted. Blaydes held him up against the fence for most of the fight, even though both fighters opened up in the third round. He landed one of the most significant strikes of the fight. Blaydes controlled the pace of the fight, and the massive favorite won the decision.
Fantasy AnalysisIt has only taken Blaydes a combined three minutes to submit his previous two opponents. Boasting a 7-1 record, Blaydes will face a tough task in arguably one of his most challenging fights to date when he takes on Omielanczuk, a fellow top-15 fighter in the world.
Fantasy AnalysisThe record book will read that this fight was stopped due to an injury suffered by Milstead, but the truth of the matter is that the injury was the result of the constant beating that Blaydes laid on his opponent. A massive human being who hits like a Mack truck, Blaydes outstruck Milstead by a count of 63-2 in Round 1. He was also credited with 8/10 takedown attempts, which is a stunning total for a fight that lasted less than six minutes. Given the lack of depth in the UFC's heavyweight division, the 25-year-old Blaydes is definitely worth keeping an eye on. He is 2-1 in the UFC, and his one loss came at the hands of Francis Ngannou, who is the scariest human being on the UFC roster.
Fantasy AnalysisBlaydes ate some shots in his second UFC fight against Cody East, but he controlled the fight with his wrestling. In the middle of round two, he found himself on top once again and did enough damage with elbows to force the referee to stop the bout. At only 25 years old, Blaydes could be a name to know in the heavyweight division going forward.
Fantasy AnalysisBlaydes wanted to continue, but the doctor made the right call here. Blaydes' right eye was completely swollen shut and he was at risk of a serious injury if allowed to continue. The debuting Blaydes struggled in the striking exchanges against the talented Ngannou, but he did pick up a pair of takedowns and he looked competent enough in his first UFC bout. A truly massive human being, Blaydes certainly showed well enough to earn another bout with the company. At age-25, he is younger than just about every heavyweight on the UFC roster.
Fantasy AnalysisBlaydes will make his UFC debut after racking up five-straight TKO stoppage victories on the independent scene to begin his career. 25-years of age, Blaydes fights out of a very small camp in Oklahoma and he will almost certainly weigh-in right around the heavyweight limit of 266 pounds. It’s tough to know what to expect from Blaydes in his debut, but he is a big, strong guy who is facing an opponent who has struggled to get off of his back in the past. Blaydes could pick up a victory in his company debut if his wrestling game is on point.