UFC president Dana White just can’t seem to get out of his own way these days when it comes to fostering good relationships with his best fighters. How else can you explain White belittling the performance of Curtis Blaydes after Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night card in Las Vegas, Nevada?
“I like Curtis Blaydes, but Curtis Blaydes has the wrong attitude as far as I’m concerned,” White said at the post-fight news conference. “I don’t have anything against the kid at all, (but) when you talk sh*t like he talked this week, you better come in and whoop somebody’s ass when you talk sh*t like that. When you talk the sh*t that he did and perform like he did tonight? You look stupid.”
Blaydes Set UFC Divisional Record for Takedowns
Blaydes dominated veteran contender Alex Volkov over five grueling rounds.
The 29-year-old American set the divisional record for takedowns in the fight at 14, and it sure seems like he might have scored even more of them had he not eventually gassed from throwing Volkov down so many times during the fight.
Curtis Blaydes recorded 14 takedowns in his win over Alexander Volkov. That is the most takedowns in a fight in UFC heavyweight history.
Tonight's win is Blaydes' 9th UFC heavyweight victory, tied for 2nd-most in the division since 2016, behind only Derrick Lewis (10). pic.twitter.com/XTpqq76axs
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 21, 2020
Blaydes outwrestled Volkov for the unanimous decision victory (49-46, 48-47, 48-46).
Regardless, none of that was good enough for the UFC boss.
“Yeah, he won,” White said. “He talked a lot of sh*t coming in this week. I don’t think you talk the sh*t he talked this week and come in and perform like that. Talking about rag-dolling people, and he’s not getting paid, and yada, yada, he should be getting the title shot. He gassed out at the end of the third round, made it to the fifth and won the fight. Yeah, he won.”
Does White not know he’s supposed to be this guy’s promoter? Sheesh.
“His two losses are to Francis [Ngannou],” White said. “How do you give him the title shot ahead of Francis? But, yeah, he would be considered next in line. But with his performance tonight and his cardio? I wouldn’t wait around if I was him. I’d stay active. I’d stay busy.”
Blaydes Embraces Role Anyway
To his credit, Blaydes didn’t let any of those comments from White sour his mood after notching the big win.
“I won. There is no part of me that isn’t happy right now,” Blaydes said at the post-fight press conference. “You can ask it from six different angles. There is no part of me that isn’t happy. My hand was raised. I’m happy.”
As for staying busy as White suggested against the type of lower-ranked competition he’s beaten over and over again by now, Blaydes issued the perfect response.
“Stay busy against who?” Blaydes asked.
Blaydes Predicted How Fight Would Turn Out
Is he a mystic?
Blaydes went out and did to Volkov exactly what he said he’d do. Earlier in the week, Blaydes shared his vision for the fight on social media.
“FYI if y’all were hoping to see a 25 minute stand up war you probably shouldn’t tune in to the main event cause I fully intend on ragdolling my opponent just figured I’d let y’all know ahead of time,” Blaydes said.
FYI if y’all were hoping to see a 25 minute stand up war you probably shouldn’t tune in to the main event cause I fully intend on ragdolling my opponent just figured I’d let y’all know ahead of time 🤷🏾♂️
— Curtis Blaydes (@RazorBlaydes265) June 19, 2020
That’s exactly what happened on Saturday night, and after it was over, even with his promoter breathing down his neck, Blaydes embraced himself and the role he plays within the UFC’s heavyweight division.
“I think I know who I am now: I’m a heel,” Blaydes said. “You don’t like what I do. I like to make you mad. I like to win.”
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