What’s Next For Curtis Blaydes?
Another weekend of action-packed fights has come and gone after UFC Vegas 19 blew the roof off UFC APEX in Las Vegas, which saw several fighters go home feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Andrei Arlovski, who was submitted by Tim Aspinall, snapping his two-fight win streak (see it again here).
And Aleksei Oleinik, who was knocked out by Chris Daukaus in the very first round (highlights), along with Eddie Wineland, who got promptly finished by John Castaneda (video here). But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?
Coming into his headlining bout against Derrick Lewis, Blaydes was perhaps one win away from earning his overdue heavyweight championship bout. After all, “Razor” had been putting in plenty of work, going 9-2-1 since 2016 with his two defeats coming at the hands of Francis Ngannou. With consecutive win number five under his belt, there would have been no denying Blaydes a shot at the title.
Unfortunately, like 11 UFC big men before him, he ran into the unmatched power of “The Black Beast,” which stiffened him at the moment the nasty uppercut landed. He was then the recipient of two more massive follow-up bombs.
It’s an unfortunate setback for “Razor,” who will have to start another win streak to get into championship consideration. And with Jon Jones taking his talents to heavyweight, the line only gets longer. But that’s the fight game, you can be so close to reaching the promised land only to get shut down at the door.
Let’s not get it twisted, “Razor” was looking sharp up until getting slept. And much to everyone’s surprise, he was actually tuning up Lewis on the feet, straying from his usual wrestling approach which he promised would be on full display against one of the “worst wrestlers” in the 265-pound division.
He had Lewis backing up consistently, his punches were clean and crisp and he was simply in control the first six minutes of the fight. Despite the loss, Blaydes is still one of the best heavyweights on the roster and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
As for what’s next for Blaydes, he will have to wait to see how the division plays itself out in the next couple of months. If Stipe Miocic loses to Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 in a few weeks, I would love to see him face off against “Razor.” If Ngannou loses, there is no point in booking him against Blaydes a third time since he’s stopped him twice already.
Then again, he can always face off against the loser of the upcoming 265-pound matchup between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane, two of the few big men Blaydes has yet to face inside the Octagon.
For complete UFC Vegas 19: “Blaydes vs. Lewis” results and play-by-play, click HERE!
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