Curtis Blaydes has made it abundantly clear that he wants to fight for the UFC’s heavyweight belt next, but if that can’t happen, the only fight “Razor” will take is a rematch with Francis Ngannou.
Blaydes has been calling for a title shot, following his vicious and bloody, stoppage win over Alistair Overeem at UFC 225. The victory was Blaydes’ fourth in a row, and it moved him into the #2 ranking. As a result, the powerful wrestler has said he wants to fight the winner of the July 7th bout between Daniel Cormier and heavyweight champ, Stipe Miocic.
Well, why many people believe Blaydes could indeed be next for a title shot, it remains to be seen if that will in fact happen. After all, the heavyweight belt likely won’t be on the line again until the very end of 2018, if not later. So, the UFC might want Blaydes to fight again in the interim. Plus, there’s been a lot of talk about Brock Lesnar fighting for the belt…
So, would Blaydes be open to taking another bout? If he isn’t booked for a title fight next? During a recent episode of “The MMA Hour”, Blaydes had this to say (quote via MMA Fighting):
“I’m only open to [taking another fight] it if it’s (Francis) Ngannou,” Blaydes said. “That’s really the only one that wouldn’t really be about the money. That would be about, like, I just want to run that back. And I’m not [making excuses], he won fair and square. I let him hit my eye too many times and that’s what happens, the doctors have to be involved. So he did a great job, but I would like to get a full 15 minutes with him.
“But that’s only if I don’t get the title shot, because I think I’m ready. I think you can make the argument it makes sense based upon the rankings and the current matchups. Ngannou’s already had his turn, and to be honest, he didn’t even look good. And I think me beating Alistair in the fashion I did is a bit, on paper, looks better than (Alexander) Volkov beating (Fabricio) Werdum in the way he did. Not taking anything away from Volkov, I just think my win is slightly better than his, so I think it puts me ahead of him.”
There you have it. Now, of course, it’s not surprising to hear that Blaydes wants to face Ngannou again, on account of how their first fight ended (TKO via doctor stoppage). But, Ngannou is booked to fight Derrick Lewis at UFC 226, so it remains to be seen what transpires in that bout.
Further, since Ngannou already has a win over Blaydes, would he be interested in fighting him again at this stage? It seems kind of unlikely.