Curtis Blaydes is back in the winners circle!
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Las Vegas, Nevada once again tonight, September 25, 2021, for an incredibly stacked night of fights at UFC 266.
Headlining the event is Alexander Volkanovski, who is looking to defend his UFC featherweight championship for a second time tonight opposing No. 2 ranked contender Brian Ortega.
Co-headlining the event is perhaps the greatest female fighter alive, Valentina Shevchenko, who looks to defend her UFC flyweight championship for the sixth time against Lauren Murphy.
Our feature fight of the night came between former four-time Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz and former three-time UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, a rematch of their 2004 clash.
That night saw Diaz the victor via KO in round two, a surprise to most.
Now, 209 months later, so ironically, Diaz returns for the first time in nearly seven years to take on a fellow legend, who happened to win the UFC championship in his absence. Perhaps tonight will tell us whether or not Nick Diaz could’ve ever become UFC champion.
The second bout on the main card tonight, following Jessica Andrade’s dominant performance over Cynthia Calvillo, was an incredible heavyweight bout between No. 4 ranked Curtis Blaydes and No. 6 ranked Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
Blaydes is a multi-time amateur wrestling champion, becoming a HS state champion with a record of 44-0, having gone 95-18 overall at an NJCAA college. Rozenstruik on the other hand is a multi-time world champion in kickboxing, with a professional record of 76-8-1.
Continue reading to see how this epic heavyweight encounter went down:
Official Result: Curtis Blaydes def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Blaydes lands a nice lead left hook to start the fight, before Rozenstruik unleashes a few heavy punches. Blaydes is able to evade however, and not long after takes Rozenstruik down.
He reigns down some nice punches and elbows, but Rozenstruik is able to make it back to his feet.
Once back on his feet however, he’s much more labored.
Blaydes is using his striking a bit more this round, but that’s because the couple takedowns he attempted, he telegraphed. He is looking pretty good on the feet though, especially against a striker like this.
That’s because Rozenstruik can’t throw kicks though. If he does, he’ll get taken down.
Rozenstruik does land a thunderous flying knee that gets Blaydes’ attention, and he forces a takedown off of it and remains on top the last 90 seconds or so of the round.
Blaydes secures a takedown about two minutes into round three and remains on top for the rest of the round. He was just too heavy, plus he’s too good on top, for a kickboxer.
Blaydes’ leg kicks looked great tonight, as well as his punches, he’s really evolving into an incredible heavyweight. He was looking great in his last fight with Derrick Lewis as well until that one shot ended his night.
It’s great to see him back in the winners circle.
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!