Curtis Blaydes returns to the Octagon this Saturday in the main event of Fight Night Raleigh against Junior dos Santos and he brings with him a unique perspective on earning a title shot in the UFC – patience.
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The 28-year-old enters the bout on a two-fight winning streak and looking around the heavyweight landscape, believes that time is on his side. Even taking into account the two times he’s lost to former title challenger Francis Ngannou.
“There’s not many bodies ahead of me, I’m going to be here for a while, eventually I’m going to get my title shot,” Blaydes told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. “I’m not in a race, all these other guys are old, they’re all older than me. Junior is 35, Stipe is 38, DC is 40, and even Ngannou is five or six years older than me. I’m going to be here, so I’m not in a rush.”
With victories in six of his last seven fights, Blaydes can accelerate his road to a title shot with a win over dos Santos, one thing that he’s not planning to change is the style he will use to attack his opponent.
“My game plan is a universal game plan, I don’t adjust it for any opponent,” said Blaydes. “I’m always going to be the better wrestler and that’s always going to be my advantage and it’s always going to be the best path to victory for me, so I’m going to be looking to use my wrestling.”
To prepare for Saturday’s main event, Blaydes completed some of his training camp with Alistair Overeem, a man who defeated dos Santos in 2015. Having locked up with both men, the veteran fighter believes Blaydes holds a key advantage heading into the bout.
“He’s told me from his experiences that I’m the stronger guy,” said Blaydes. “He’s been in the clinch with Junior, he’s been in the clinch with me and he believes I’m the stronger guy, that’s good to know.”