Rising heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes extended his winning streak to four this past Saturday (June 9, 2018) at UFC 225, scoring a brutal stoppage victory over veteran Alistair Overeem.
Following the bout, Blaydes called for a title shot, but it’s also been reported that he suffered a few injuries in the contest, making a timetable for his return a bit cloudy.
Regardless of if he receives a title shot next or not, Blaydes has continued to gain recognition. In fact, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov feels as if the 27-year-old will one day be a champion:
“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.”
Blaydes, who holds a professional record of 10-1-1, has given various fighters problems with his fighting style and Nurmagomedov believes this will carry on as Blaydes continues to earn big fights. “The Eagle”, however, also named one combatant who he feels is capable of stopping Blaydes’ run:
“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 7th (UFC 226). I think he deserves a title shot, more than everybody.”
Cormier, a teammate of Nurmagomedov’s and the current 205-pound champion, will indeed move up in weight to challenge heavyweight titleholder Stipe Miocic in the main event of July 7’s UFC 226 from Las Vegas, Nevada.