Curtis Blaydes impressed a lot of people with his UFC 225 TKO win over former Strikeforce, Dream and K-1 champion Alistair Overeem. One of the most notable people to jump on the Blaydes hype-train after UFC 225 was UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov showered Blaydes with praise in a conversation with documentary producer Will Harris of Anatomy of a Fighter.
“I think Blaydes can become UFC champion,” Nurmagomedov said (transcribed by Milan Ordoñez for BloodyElbow). “He has very good wrestling, he’s young, he’s strong, he’s hungry, he has different motivation. I think he’s the new blood in the UFC’s heavyweight division.”
In Nurmagomedov’s eyes, Blaydes is pretty much unstoppable at heavyweight — unless he crosses paths with reigning light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who will battle Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title at UFC 226 on July 7.
“I think only one guy can beat him. I think Daniel Cormier; he can beat him,” Nurmagomedov said. “Other guys, even Stipe Miocic, I think for Stipe, he’s a bad matchup, because he pressures all the time, [and he has] very good wrestling.”
“But, we’ll see,” Nurmagomedov continued. “He’s the new blood. We have to wait [until after] July 7. I think he deserves a title shot, more than everybody.”
With his defeat of Overeem, Curtis Blaydes improved to 10-1 (1) overall. His seven most recent bouts have occurred in the UFC’s Octagon. In his first fight with the promotion, he was defeated by future title challenger Francis Ngannou, losing via doctor stoppage. He then defeated Cody East by TKO, Adam Milstead by TKO (overturned when Blaydes tested positive for marijuana), Daniel Omielańczuk by decision, Oleksiy Oliynyk by doctor stoppage, Mark Hunt by decision, and most recently Overeem by TKO.
How do you think Curtis Blaydes matches up with Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/13/2018.