EXCLUSIVE | Curtis Blaydes makes pick for Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier’s heavyweight title fight

On July 7, in the main event of UFC 226, reigning UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will attempt to defend his title against reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. As one of the heavyweight division’s top contenders, it’s no surprise that Curtis Blaydes will be watching this fight very closely.

“I think it’s very interesting matchup,” Blaydes said of the UFC 226 main event on the latest episode of BJ Penn Radio. “It’s a good matchup. I like it, seeing as DC is a former Strikeforce heavyweight champion and he is, I think, undefeated as a heavyweight. He knows how – he wouldn’t be at a disadvantage. I think [their] weights will be a lot closer than people think. [Cormier will] probably be 235 [pounds] and Stipe will probably be around 245-250, and at heavyweight, that’s not really much of a difference. And [Cormier is] used to being the smaller guy so you don’t have to worry.”

While Curtis Blaydes was quite complimentary of Cormier, however, he expects Miocic to emerge the victor in this fight. If Miocic does win, he’s prepared to call him the best heavyweight ever.

“I think Stipe wins, though, because he’s a very confident striker and I think he’s an underrated wrestler,” Blaydes said. “Well, he shouldn’t be underrated because we all saw what he did to Ngannou, and personally I got the opportunity to train with [Miocic] early on in my amateur career a couple years ago, and we went at it with the wrestling, so I definitely respect his ground game. And I know he has cardio because we used to do cardio practices and he would just kill it.”

“My goals are to get to his cardio level,” Blaydes continued. “He would do the Jacob’s Ladder and then he’d do the agility drills and then he’d hit the bag, then we’d do pool workouts. He’s like a fish. He can swim very well. He’s just an athlete and he’s got a hell of cardio, and we know he’s tough as nails, so I don’t get why he gets looked over so much. He’s earned his position. I think if he does win he has to go down at the best heavyweight ever.”

What do you think of this prediction from Curtis Blaydes?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/18/2018.