Curtis Blaydes will get his chance at redemption in November when he headlines UFC Fight Night 141 vs. Francis Ngannou.
Back in 2016, Ngannou scored a TKO victory after the second round when the doctor called a stop to the bout. Since that time, Blaydes has won five of six with a no-contest. Among those wins are a finish over Alistair Overeem an a decision vs. Mark Hunt.
Blaydes was critical of the UFC’s move to allow Brock Lesnar to return and immediately move into title contention should he be cleared. Lesnar is expected to challenge Daniel Cormier for the belt in 2019.
“I still feel disrespected that Brock Lesnar gets to jump in out of the blue. He’s not even ranked. He’s not even officially on the roster and he gets to have a title fight scheduled and he hasn’t proven himself. So yeah, that’s what makes me feel disrespected,” Blaydes told Submission Radio recently. “No. But I mean, it’s obvious. We’re all adults. They want money. I get it. They want money. I’m not money yet, so it is what it is.”
If the bout does happen, Blaydes gives Lesnar “no chance whatsoever” to defeat Cormier.
“I don’t even view Brock as a legitimate MMA fighter,” he added. “He was juiced to the gills when he fought in the early to mid 2000’s, so I don’t respect juice heads.”
For now, though, Blaydes will concern himself with Ngannou and Ngannou only. He’s been anxious awaiting a rematch with the heavyweight contender who fell to then-champion Stipe Miocic earlier this year.
“I visualized this happening on the flight back from when we had fought in Croatia. On the flight back, that’s what I was visualizing it. I knew I’d get an opportunity to run it back cause I knew I’d be around and I knew he’d be around and I knew we’d both be highly ranked, so I knew it would be pretty much inevitable,” he said. “Well, yeah. I mean, when you lose you have to find a way to take something out of it, something that you can use. And what I go out of it was I needed better striking. So, I knew. And I knew I probably wasn’t gonna get that in the Chicago area. That’s where I lived before I moved here to Denver. So, I knew I had to move, I knew I had to find a new gym. And it’s just a blessing that I was able to connect with the guys here at Team Elevation and it’s been great.”