Curtis Blaydes reminded everyone why he’s one of the r branch ’s most intriguing contenders.
It wasn’t even a thrilling performance, however Blaydes (11-2, 1 NC) was in full control on Saturday night since he used his high-level wrestling to control Justin Willis (8-2) for three rounds on the way to a unanimous decision victory through dozens of 30-27, 30-26, 30-25 in the co-main event of UFC Nashville at Bridgestone Arena.
Immediately, Blaydes pushed in for a takedown and it took him only a little over one minute to guarantee the first one. He remained stuck to Willis throughout around two and one, staying heavy on the rear of “Big Pretty” and repeatedly slamming or dragging him down to the canvas whenever Willis was able to operate.
Blaydes remained busy on the ground to maintain Willis uncomfortable, landing short punches throughout the fight to rack up things.
On the feet there wasn’t much Willis can do with driving a car of this takedown in his own mind. It was Blaydes who landed the ideal strike of this fight, clipping Willis with a straight right which sent him spinning.
The last round was light onto activity, however, Blaydes maintained pushing forward and looking for take-downs, finally scoring one with 90 minutes to go to seal the deal.
It was a powerful Bounce Back performance for Blaydes, that watched that a four-fight win streak snapped in his last outing this past November when he was store inside of a second by Francis Ngannou. He’s now won five of the last six fights.
There has been lots of trashtalk exchanged between both Blaydes and Willis from the lead-up to the contest and Blaydes made sure to mention that during his post-fight interview.
It was Willis’s first loss inside the Octagon after moving 4-0 to start his UFC career.
Straight back at the win column, Blaydes is looking to fight yet another top competitor next. Whoever he gets in his landscapes, he mentioned wanting to face either Junior dos Santos, Derrick Lewis, or even Stipe Miocic.