Curtis Blaydes open to division ‘clean out’ to earn his title shot

Mandatory Credit: Mike Roach – Zuffa LLC

While we’ve got an undisputed UFC heavyweight title fight scheduled for as a soon as March 27th. at UFC 260 — as Stipe Miocic rematches Francis Ngannou — it’s not entirely as straightforward, going forward as it may seem.

This weekend at UFC Vegas 19, Curtis Blaydes tackles one-time title chaser, Derrick Lewis at the UFC Apex facility, and with a victory — he could largely be viewed as undeniable in regards to a title shot in his next promotional outing.
However, the promotion has already noted their intentions to roll forward with a summer title outing between the victor of UFC 260’s main event between Miocic and Ngannou, with the winner attempting a title defence against division-debutante, former two-time light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones.
9-2-0 (1) under the UFC’s banner, Blaydes has won four consecutively ahead of this weekend’s headliner, with his sole two promotional losses coming against the above mentioned, Ngannou, Entering the headliner as the #2 contender behind the Cameroonian, Blaydes has claimed that he’ll have no issue cleaning out the ranks in the heavyweight division while laying in wait for his first promotional title tilt to come.

I just roll my eyes,” Blaydes said during a recent interview with MMA Fighting when asked for his thoughts on the lie of heavyweight land. “I’m not old so I’m not in a rush so I’ll get there eventually. Honestly, it’s not even a guarantee that Jon (Jones) will take the fight ’cause I heard he also has his eyes on the winner of (the) Izzy (Israel Adesanya) vs. (Jan) Blachowicz fight. If he’s got his eyes on that one, he’s not all in on this heavyweight matchup so it’s not a guarantee. I’m not worried about it. If it does happen, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Worst case, I’ve always iterated, if I have to clean out the division, I will,” Blaydes said. “I will do that. I have a family at home that I provide for so the more active I am, the better for them. The ultimate goal is the belt but we’ll get there.

Recovering from an opening round knockout defeat to Ngannou at UFC Fight Night Beijing back in November of 2018, the Elevation Fight Team trainee took a unanimous decision win over Justin Willis before stopping Shamil Abdurakhimov with second round ground-and-pound at UFC 242.
Headlining in both his Octagon appearances last year, Blaydes managed to stop former champion, Junior dos Santos at UFC Fight Night Raleigh — before a unanimous decision victory over recent UFC Vegas 18 main event feature, Alexander Volkov at UFC Vegas 3 in June.

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