Curtis Blaydes got the job done on Saturday night, but his performance was seriously lacking according to UFC president Dana White.
Blaydes met Alexander Volkov in the UFC Vegas 3 headliner in what was ultimately a drab affair over 25 minutes. “Razor” used his wrestling and grappling to control Volkov for majority of the fight, though he did gas out in the championship rounds.
Volkov had his moments soon after but Blaydes managed to survive by getting a couple more takedowns en route to a unanimous decision victory.
White: Blaydes Talked A Lot Of Sh*t
Many in the combat sports world criticized the heavyweight fight afterwards.
In fairness to Blaydes, he did tell fans not to expect a standup war as he planned on ragdolling Volkov. And along with his comments on fighter pay leading up to the fight, White was expecting a statement-making performance from the Chicago native only to be left disappointed.
“He won. He talked a lot of sh*t coming in this week,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “I don’t think he talked the sh*t he talked this week to come in and perform like that, talking about ragdolling people, he’s not getting paid, yada yada, he should be getting the title shot. He gassed out at the end of the third round. He made it to the fifth and won the fight. He won.”
Although it was a poor performance overall, it now means Blaydes has won four in a row as well as eight of his last nine outings. A first-ever UFC title shot is likely next for him as he plans on waiting to fight the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier’s trilogy bout which takes place August 15.
However, that title shot may be a while as Francis Ngannou is all but guaranteed to get the next crack at the strap. Ngannou notably holds two wins over Blaydes so it’s highly likely the latter will have to remain active in the meantime.
It’s something White would strongly recommend as well following the performance against Volkov.
“First of all, he has two losses to Francis,” White added. “How do you give him the title fight over Francis? But yeah, he would be considered next in line.
“With his performance tonight and his cardio? I wouldn’t wait around if I was him. I would stay active, I would stay busy. I like Curtis Blaydes. But Curtis Blaydes has the wrong attitude as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have anything against the kid at all — 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 talked and perform like he performed tonight, you look stupid.”
Although he wasn’t made aware of White’s full comments, Blaydes did find humor in his suggestion to stay busy.
“Stay busy against who?” Blaydes said at the post-fight press conference. “I fought Justin Willis, ranked below me. I fought [Shamil] Abdurakhimov, ranked below me. I fought Junior [Dos Santos], ranked below me. I fought Volkov, ranked below me. Like what? No. I don’t know, man. This is probably not the best time to answer that question so I’m just going to leave that alone.”
For now, Blaydes seems to be stuck in limbo.