UFC heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes said that he knows fans didn’t enjoy his main event fight against Alexander Volkov but he’s content with it.
Blaydes won a unanimous decision with scores of 49-46, 48-47, and 48-46 over a tough Volkov in the main event of UFC on ESPN 11. Blaydes was able to set the heavyweight record for most takedowns in a fight but he was not able to get the finish despite having Volkov under him on the mat in top position for the majority of the fight.
Despite winning comfortably on the scorecards, it was a performance that drew the ire of UFC president Dana White, who said that Blaydes “looked stupid” after spending part of fight week talking about fighter pay only to have a performance where he couldn’t get the finish. Following UFC on ESPN 11, Blaydes spoke to the media and admitted that he is comfortable with playing the role of heel after knowing the fans didn’t enjoy the fight.
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“I find the best part about this win, is I predicted this, and I did it for twenty-five minutes. Didn’t look the best, but I’m okay with having a gritty win like that, and I know a lot of fans didn’t like it. I’m okay with that. It makes me happy,” Blaydes said.
Although Blaydes shouldn’t be knocked for getting the win, the fact that he is saying he doesn’t care what the fans think is bizarre. Right now, Blaydes is clearly the next fighter in line for a title shot after Francis Ngannou gets the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3. But Blaydes will only get the title shot if he has the fans behind him. Even though Blaydes has won four fights in a row, the fact that he didn’t get the finish here may be viewed as somewhat of a loss in the eyes of White.
“I like Curtis Blaydes but Curtis Blaydes has the wrong attitude as far as I’m concerned, you know?” White said about the performance of Blaydes at the post-fight presser.
“I don’t have anything against the kid at all, but you know, when you talk sh*t like he did this week, then you better come in and whoop somebody’s ass if you talk sh*t like that. When you talk the sh*t he talked and you performed the way he performed tonight, he looked stupid.”
What do you think if next for Curtis Blaydes?