Last Saturday night on the preliminary card at UFC 225, surging Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight Curtis Blaydes took on the veteran Alistair Overeem in a much anticipated heavyweight bout. Blaydes was coming off an impressive win over Mark Hunt back in February and many expected Overeem to provide Blaydes with his toughest challenge to date.
Blaydes took Overeem down in the third round and unleashed some brutal elbows, which resulted in Overeem’s forehead being opened up with blood gushing out before the referee intervened. The win cemented Blaydes as one of the top heavyweights in the division and put him in a good position for title contention.
The 27-year-old Blaydes will be a keen spectator of the upcoming UFC 226 pay-per-view event between current title holder Stipe Miocic and the challenger, current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
Cormier’s teammate and newly-crowned lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is a fan of Blaydes and believes the young heavyweight has the potential to hold the belt and that only “DC” has the tools to stop him.
“I think Blaydes can become UFC champion,” Khabib told documentary producer Will Harris of Anatomy of a Fighter. “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.”
“I think only one guy can beat him. I think Daniel Cormier; he can beat him,” he said. “Other guys, even Stipe Miocic, I think for Stipe, he’s a bad matchup, because he pressures all the time, (he has) very good wrestling.”
“But, we’ll see. He’s the new blood,” Khabib said of Blaydes. “We have to wait (until after) July 7 (UFC 226). I think he deserves a title shot, more than everybody.”
UFC 226 is set to take place on Saturday, July 6, 2018, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.