UFC heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes picked up his fourth straight win at UFC on ESPN 11, but not everyone is a fan of the way that win came. Blaydes, despite having a large number of TKO victories, has been accused of a “boring” fighting style thanks to his wrestling based background and the way he uses it in the octagon, and didn’t improve his reputation during his fight against Volkov where his victory came from a unanimous decision after outlasting his opponent rather than an exciting finish.
According to Dana White, the performance was underwhelming, but the criticism doesn’t seem to have gotten under Blaydes’ skin. When speaking to reporters, he seemed to embrace his spot among the UFC’s heels.
“I know who I am now. I’m the heel. You don’t like what I do? I like to make you mad. I like to win. That’s probably the best part about this win, is I predicted this, and I did it. Twenty-five minutes. Didn’t look the best, but I’m OK with having a gritty win like that, and I know a lot of fans didn’t like it, and I’m OK with that. It makes me happy,” Blaydes said.
Blaydes is one of the next contenders in line for the title but it remains to be seen who his next opponent will be. After two earlier losses to the higher ranked Francis Ngannou, it doesn’t look like a third fight is coming soon between the two.
And current champion Stipe Miocic is already set to defend his title against Daniel Cormier in a third fight, with the location having been recently confirmed as the UFC APEX facility.
It leaves Blaydes in an awkward position, but ultimately, he acknowledged that the matter of his next opponent isn’t in his own hands.
“I fought Justin Willis, ranked below me. I fought Abdurakhimov, ranked below me. I fought Junior, ranked below me. I fought Volkov, ranked below me. Like what? No. I don’t know, man. This is probably not the best time to answer that questions so I’m going to leave that alone.”
Things aren’t easy for Blaydes as a title contender right now, but as long as he continues to win, the UFC won’t be able to ignore him as a title contender regardless of popularity or style. His winning, after all, has remained fairly consistent as of recent.