The UFC heavyweight division hasn’t seen many new stars climb the ranks in the last few years. But that has changed recently with the rise of Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes. Ngannou already got his title shot and was dismantled by champion Stipe Miocic. So Blaydes is next. But there’s the matter of Miocic’s superfight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 226 for Stipe to attend to first.
As a guest on BJ Penn Radio, Blaydes was asked to share his thoughts on the Miocic-Cormier bout. And he thinksthat Miocic is going to come out on top:
“I’m gonna take Stipe. I like his kickboxing, his footwork, his conditioning. I know that DC is a good wrestler but Stipe is a pretty good wrestler himself. I think he’s got a lot more advantages. I think he gets the finish — but probably into the fourth round, maybe fifth.”
Blaydes (10-1, 1 NC, 5-1, 1 NC UFC) is coming off a huge third-round destruction of Alistair Overeem, and currently sits as the number two contender in the division. He firmly believes he will get the winner of Miocic vs. Cormier, and he wants to do it at the end of the year:
“They’re both challenges, and I don’t think either one of them is easier or harder than the other,” he said. “They’re both great in their own ways, they both have pretty good stand up, they’re pretty good wrestlers. [My] only advantage would be I have a weight advantage over them, and probably a reach advantage also. I was thinking about New Years Eve, in Vegas. I think I deserve to be the champion.”
UFC 226 goes down on July 7th in Las Vegas.