Over the weekend at UFC 225, number five-ranked heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes closed out the prelims with a bloody third-round TKO win over Alistair Overeem. Now on a four-fight win streak, he continues to boost himself to further recognition.
One prominent name that did take notice is UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Even while in the middle of the holy month of Ramadan, “The Eagle” was able to catch the fights over the weekend and ended up being impressed by the 27-year-old collegiate wrestler.
“I think Blaydes can become UFC champion,” Khabib told documentary producer Will Harris of Anatomy of a Fighter. “He has very good wrestling, he’s young, he’s strong, he’s hungry, he has different motivation. I think he’s the new blood in the UFC’s heavyweight division.”
Khabib, however, also named the one fighter whom he thinks could end Blaydes’ streak.
“I think only one guy can beat him. I think Daniel Cormier; he can beat him,” he said. “Other guys, even Stipe Miocic, I think for Stipe, he’s a bad matchup, because he pressures all the time, (he has) very good wrestling.”
“But, we’ll see. He’s the new blood,” Khabib said of Blaydes. “We have to wait (until after) July 7th (UFC 226). I think he deserves a title shot, more than everybody.”
With the win against Overeem, Blaydes improved to a record of 10-1 (with 1 NC and eight wins by knockout). His lone defeat was courtesy of Francis Ngannou, whom he lost to via doctor’s stoppage TKO in 2016.