UFC Headliner Challenges Heavyweight ‘GOAT’ Stipe Miocic

Stipe Miocic

Getty Stipe Miocic celebrates his win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 241 in August 2019.

Top-ranked UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes challenged Stipe Miocic, who he believes is the GOAT of the division.

“Razor” continued his winning ways on Saturday night, picking up an important victory over rising name Chris Daukaus. The two battled during the UFC Fight Night main event and although the first round was a back-and-forth clash on the feet, Blaydes landed a crushing right hand at the start of the second frame. Flooring Daukaus, Razor followed up with ground and pound and the referee ultimately called off the contest, granting Blaydes the win via TKO.

It was a needed victory for Blaydes as he continues his campaign toward a title fight. He’s now 6-1 in his last seven fights which includes a two-fight winning streak.

He improved his professional mixed martial arts record to 16-3 with one no contest. On the other end, Daukaus lost his second-straight headliner and his record fell to 12-5.

During the post-fight press conference, Blaydes had two names in mind as potential opponents to get him to a title fight. Specifically, he’d like to take on Miocic or Ciryl Gane. Gane is coming off a title fight against champion Francis Ngannou at UFC 270 in which he lost by unanimous decision.


Blaydes Views Miocic as the Greatest Heavyweight Ever

Curtis Blaydes

GettyCurtis Blaydes prepares for his fight against Francis Ngannou at Cadillac Arena on November 24, 2018 in Beijing, China.

Miocic hasn’t fought since “The Predator” took the title from him at UFC 260 in March 2021. During the presser, Blaydes pointed to Miocic as the greatest heavyweight of all time, something that has been echoed by many in the MMA community.

“I view them as the same opportunity,” Blaydes said via MMA Fighting. “A win over Gane, who was on a hot streak, who was just in a title fight, a win over him should put me as the next title contender. Same thing with Stipe.

“He’s the GOAT, in my opinion. He’s the GOAT of this heavyweight division. He honestly deserved a [championship] rematch a while ago but if he’s willing to risk it against me and I beat him, that’s the same thing to me. It’s a title shot for me would be the next thing for me after beating Gane or Stipe.”


Blaydes Says Defeating Miocic Would Be More Historically Significant

Although he thinks beating either Gane or Miocic would grant him a championship fight, he is keener on fighting Miocic as it would be better for his legacy.

“I believe he’s the GOAT,” Blaydes said about Miocic. “So a win over him — that’s the one difference — beating Stipe or Gane equals a title shot but beating Stipe I think weighs more heavily historically.

“Cause everyone knows what Stipe has done. They know his resume. So that’s the one difference. Having him on the resume, that would be huge.”

Interestingly, Blaydes and Miocic trained together years ago in 2014, before Razor had made his professional debut. And at that time, Miocic got the better of Blaydes. “I don’t have any awesome sparring stories,” Blaydes said. “He was levels and levels above me [back then].”

But fast forward eight years and Blaydes believes he’s now on Miocic’s “level.”

“I respect him but I believe I’m on his level,” Blaydes said. “I believe I can take him down. I know I can take him down cause I did take him down but I also believe if we get into a striking battle, I can strike with him. I’ve got the footwork. I’ve got the acumen. I believe in my coaches and I know I can hang with anybody on the feet.”

Blaydes is currently ranked No. 4 in the division and Miocic sits at No. 2, according to the official UFC rankings.

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