When UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic steps into the cage with light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 226, Curtis Blaydes will be watching closely. He is, after all, arguably the top contender in the UFC heavyweight division, and could well be the next man in line for the winner.
So, who does Blaydes think that winner will be? He’s picking Miocic — by stoppage.
Blaydes made his prediction for Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier’s UFC 226 title fight on the latest episode of BJPENN.COM Radio.
“I’m gonna take Stipe,” Blaydes told host Jason Kindschy. “I like his kickboxing, his footwork, his conditioning. I know that DC is a good wrestler but Stipe is a pretty good wrestler himself. I think he’s got a lot more advantages. I think he gets the finish — but probably into the fourth round, maybe fifth.”
Whatever the case, Blaydes feels he deserves a fight with the winner of Cormier and Miocic’s fight. He’s hoping that fight will top the last UFC pay-per-view of the year.
“They’re both challenges, and I don’t think either one of them is easier or harder than the other,” he said. “They’re both great in their own ways, they both have pretty good stand up, they’re pretty good wrestlers. [My] only advantage would be I have a weight advantage over them, and probably a reach advantage also. I was thinking about New Years Eve, in Vegas. I think I deserve to be the champion.”
Curtis Blaydes last fought earlier this month, in the final bout of the UFC 225 undercard. In this fight, he asserted himself as one of the top contenders in the UFC heavyweight division by mauling former Strikeforce, Dream and K-1 heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem to a bloody third-round TKO. Blaydes is now 10-1 overall and 6-1 in the UFC, with his lone loss coming by way of doctor stoppage against Francis Ngannou in his UFC debut.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/19/2018.