At UFC Nashville in two weeks, Curtis Blaydes will return to the Octagon to take on Justin Willis. It will be Blaydes’ first fight since his loss to Francis Ngannou back in November. Many believed Blaydes was on a fast track to a title shot if he beat Ngannou but was stopped in under a minute.
Now, however, he will need to bounce back when he takes on Willis in what should be a good fight. And for Blaydes, this is who he wanted to fight next anyway.
“I’m pretty happy with the matchup,” Blaydes said on episode 111 of BJPENN Radio. “He asked for me and it just worked out. I think he’s got solid boxing and I know he trains at AKA with Cain and DC and all those other good grapplers. So I’m expecting him to be a confident grappler.”
With the fight upcoming, Blaydes is confident in his ability. He knows he matches up well with Willis and can’t wait to show that can fight night.
“I still believe I’m the better grappler because I believe [I have the] best wrestling in the heavyweight division,” he said. “And I know he’s got power. I mean every heavyweight’s got power. I’ve got power.
“I think I hold the advantage when it comes to the speed, athleticism, wrestling and I just I think I’m the better fighter overall.”
Ultimately, Blaydes knows he is one of the best heavyweights on the roster. With that, Blaydes is confident he will leave Nashville with a win and get back on track.
“I see me working my angles, getting my boxing [going], getting my jab, getting it inside, crush his legs, get him on his back and then getting him in a really bad submission on the ground or just finishing with strikes, hopefully elbows,” he said, confidently offering a prediction for the matchup.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime