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Why Curtis Blaydes still believes his time will come

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Why Curtis Blaydes still believes his time will come

Curtis Blaydes believes whole-heartedly within the adage, “Good things come to those who wait.” Blaydes has competed within the UFC since 2016 and is 10-3 within the promotion.

On Saturday (7 p.m. ET on ESPN) in Columbus, Ohio, when he fights Chris Daukaus, it will likely be the fourth time in his final 5 bouts he’s been in the principle occasion. He’s ranked fourth in what’s arguably the deepest heavyweight division the UFC has ever had.

Champion Francis Ngannou, in addition to former champion Stipe Miocic, former interim champion Ciryl Gane, hard-hitting Tai Tuivasa, fast-rising Tom Aspinall and KO King Derrick Lewis headline what all of the sudden is a deep and gifted weight class.

The true cash within the UFC lies in preventing for, and successful, a title. Blaydes is aware of that, and regardless of being so extremely ranked for thus lengthy with so many elite wins, he’s by no means fought for the championship.

However Blaydes, who turned 31 final month, isn’t fearful about it. His time, he stated, will come.

“I have always said I’m not in a hurry because I’m going to be here for a long time,” Blaydes instructed Yahoo Sports activities. “I have seven, eight more years at least. I’m still improving, still getting better, still loving what I do.

“I’m not broke. I’m doing good [financially]. My daughter is my only dependent. I don’t live a flashy lifestyle. I’m comfortable. So I can wait [for a title shot]. I know eventually it’s going to come. I’m a patient guy and the one thing you can tell by paying attention to how they do business is, if you keep winning, sooner or later you’ll get there.”

Curtis Blaydes was dominating Derrick Lewis till one essential mistake. (Photograph by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Blaydes is 15-3 with a no-contest, which was initially a win by first-round KO that was overturned when he dedicated the horrible crime of testing optimistic for marijuana after a 2017 bout with Adam Milstead.

He’s solely misplaced to 2 males, Ngannou twice and Lewis, and within the struggle towards Lewis, he was in management till being caught with an enormous punch within the second spherical.

Blaydes is requested about that struggle rather a lot, however he simply shrugs it off. He’s no fan of dropping, however he did just about what he got down to do and was derailed by one mistake.

He got here again from the loss to Lewis by defeating Jairzinho Rozenstruik and stated he by no means was bothered a lot by it.

“That [Rozenstruik] fight might have validated me to everyone else, but me and my coaches, we knew,” Blaydes stated. “A lot of people were all excited about the Lewis fight, but if you actually watched that fight, that first round, I owned him. I was way faster, way more dynamic, way better in every way. I made a mistake. I didn’t take an angle for an attempt at a takedown and paid the price.”

Blaydes wasn’t irate at himself and he didn’t keep away from the bout. He shortly went together with his coaches to look at the video and see what went fallacious.

He made a mistake that price him a win and doubtless a title shot, however he didn’t let it tear him down and break his confidence.

“I was calm even right after,” Blaydes stated. “It didn’t discourage me. I wasn’t like, ‘Damn! I can’t do this.’ No, not at all. I was sad I lost, but it wasn’t because of [a lack of] skill. We knew I had the skills to beat guys like Jairzinho and guys like Derrick Lewis.”

He’ll want a win over the ninth-ranked Daukaus to maintain his place in line. Daukaus himself is coming off a first-round KO loss to Lewis, however he’d received 4 in a row within the UFC earlier than that, all by KO.

He’s additionally a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a talent he has not often proven in MMA as a result of, in Daukaus’ phrases, “I love punching people in the face.”

Blaydes has been round lengthy sufficient to know what to do towards somebody with that type of skill. He stopped Aleksei Oleinik in 2017 at UFC 217 in New York and Oleinik has lengthy been the most effective heavyweight submission artists in MMA.

Blaydes stated that although he didn’t change his preparation for Daukaus, his coaching consists of 12 hours every week of jiu-jitsu. If by some means the struggle turns right into a grappling match, Blaydes shall be prepared.

“I’m not a black belt, but in MMA, the difference between a black belt and white belt is just a few elbows,” Blaydes stated. “He’s talented on the feet. That’s undeniable. His hands are going to be his biggest issue for me.

“But if the takedown is there, I’ll go for it. Like I said, my game plan is not adjusted for anyone. I took Aleksei Oleinik down four or five times a couple of years ago. I feel confident in what I can do and until he proves me wrong, I’m going to stick with it.”

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