The UFC Vegas 3 main event just closed out with the promotion’s #3 ranked heavyweight, Curtis Blaydes, holding off a rallying #7 ranked, Alexander Volkov, to earn a unanimous decision. Blaydes went to the takedowns early and often, controlling his taller opposition for most of the fight. Blaydes is now on a four-fight winning streak, and has only ever lost to Francis N’Gannou. With N’Gannou being the killer that he is and on the cusp of a shot at the belt, Blaydes is left in a weird place.
Blaydes hit a takedown right away against his opponent. Volkov quickly stood up, but Blaydes was still attached. Volkov was stuck on one knee, carrying the weight of his adversary for a large chunk of time. Blaydes racked up a bunch of short chipping shots along the way in what was a dominant round.
The big men stood in front of one another and traded to open the second round. Both men landed flush punches before Blaydes switched gears and blasted a takedown. Volkov was unable to stall out a scramble and ended up on his back in the center of the Octagon.
Blaydes went back to his takedown in the third round, planting Volkov against the fence and controlling him there for an extended period of time. He wasn’t doing a ton of damage, or unloading any real volume. He was just controlling and Volkov was just kind of accepting it. Volkov did manage to stand back up with about 15-seconds left, but nothing came of it before the bell.
Blaydes caught a kick for an immediate takedown in the fourth round. Volkov worked to his feet and returned to open space, but just couldn’t prevent Blaydes from re-closing the distance. Volkov found himself on his back in the center of the cage again. He closed his guard and held on, throwing elbows when he could. A referee standup was followed by Volkov launching knees and punches and aggressively going after Blaydes. He even hit a takedown of his own just before the bell.
Volkov plotted forward to start the last round. He was throwing uppercuts and kicks. Blaydes managed to hit another takedown against the cage, but Volkov worked until he was vertical again. Blaydes stuck with his gameplan and held Volkov against the cage, hunting for the takedown. He was able to put Volkov on his back and ride out the rest of the time on top.