Heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes hopes to see more fighters like Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya squash their beef with one another in order to take some of the circus out of the sport of MMA.
Last week, ‘The Last Stylebender’ released a video on his YouTube channel featuring himself and Jon Jones, two long-time rivals, burying the hatchet, and having a little fun in an impromptu sparring session. It was a relatively unusual sight in a sport where controversy creates cash.
Speaking with The Schmo, Blaydes was inspired by the showing between two of the promotion’s biggest stars and believes more of that mutual respect needs to make its way into the UFC if MMA is ever truly going to be seen as a legitimate sport.
“I think it’s nice. I would like in the future for MMA to get away from this misconception that you have to hate your opponent,” Blaydes said. “That you have to hate your division. You have to hate people. I don’t have to hate you to beat you up. I’ve never hated anyone I’ve ever fought. I don’t think I’ve been hated by anybody I’ve ever fought. We don’t need to have all this ‘F you and F your mom.’ We don’t need that to be a legitimate sport.
“They don’t do that in football. They don’t do that in basketball. They don’t do it in baseball. To be a legitimate sport, I think we need to get away from the crudeness of this alpha energy like, ‘F you’ all the time. I want to get away from that as a sport. I think this is the beginning. Jon Jones and Izzy, those are two of the biggest names, biggest personalities we got in the sport, and if they can squash their beef, anyone should be able to squash their beef.”
— The Schmo (@TheSchmo312) July 12, 2023
Curtis Blaydes Plotting Return to the Octagon This Fall
After scoring three-straight wins toward the top of the heavyweight division, ‘Razor’ suffered a setback against streaking Russian standout Sergei Pavlovich in April. Speaking with The Schmo, Blaydes revealed that he is eyeing a return later this year with his opponent being none other than fast-rising Brazilian contender Jailton Almeida. Asked where and where the bout may go down, Blaydes said:
“I don’t know when. Most likely after Halloween or around Thanksgiving,” he revealed. “I also don’t know where. That doesn’t really matter to me. We can do it in Brazil. That was originally offered. It was in Brazil, but then they took that away, so I don’t know. But I like the matchup.”
As far as shot at the UFC heavyweight title, Blaydes is tempering his expectations, even if manages to hand the 19-2 Almeida his first loss inside the Octagon.
“Probably not. I know after the last ones, you can’t come back after how I lost in the first round, beat somebody, and automatically get a title shot. I know I have to beat Almeida and maybe another guy. I don’t know who, but most likely I’ll need back-to-back wins. Back-to-back finishes.”
Curtis Blaydes is currently 12-4 inside the Octagon with one no-contest, 17-4 overall. ‘Razor’ is sitting in the No. 4 spot in the heavyweight rankings, behind Stipe Miocic, Ciryl Gane, and top-ranked contender Sergei Pavlovich.