Las Vegas, NV —Heavyweight Curtis Blaydes sees many possible “alternate realities” when it comes to what could be waiting for him with a win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 266 this weekend.
Perhaps he’s a fan of Marvel’s “What If…?” But when asked if title shots were on the back burner for now after a recent setback, Blaydes suggested such an outcome remained a possibility. As does any other number of potentially huge match-ups.
“If they want to give me a title shot, hell yeah, but I’m not expecting it. Because I understand where the division is, I understand there’s an alternate reality where after this, I beat Jairzinho, I get Jon Jones,” Blaydes (14-3, 1NC) told media outlets including Cageside Press during Wednesday’s UFC 266 media day. “There’s an alternate reality, after this, I beat Jairzinho, I get Stipe [Miocic]. There’s an alternate reality where I get the winner or the loser of [Ciryl] Gane-[Francis] Ngannou. So there’s just too many alternate realities, I don’t have the mental energy to put into it. Who knows, I welcome everything.”
Things didn’t exactly pan out the last time Curtis Blaydes entered the octagon. “Razor” Blaydes found himself the victim of a thunderous knockout at the hands Derrick Lewis, a moment that lived on in endless replays and highlight reels.
“That’s a part of it. Gotta watch it. Happens in every sport,” said Blaydes when asked about having to see himself the nail to Lewis’ hammer time and time again. “Happens in basketball. If you end up in someone else’s highlight— there’s a reason they call it a highlight, they’re going to show it over and over. It was a little hard to watch initially, but after like the eighth time, I was like ‘okay, this is going to be here.’ So I’m used to it now.”
He’s also used to fighting strikers, and is getting another one in Rozenstruik this Saturday. It’s not something Blaydes finds uncomfortable, despite the surface-level similarity with Lewis.
“The majority of the division is predominantly going to be strikers. This is a match-up I’m used to. So I do feel comfortable with it,” said Blaydes. “It’s not like he’s a southpaw or he’s like a Taekwondo specialist. He’s a kickboxer. A heavyweight kickboxer. I’ve gone against those guys before.”
In the end, the game plan is what it always is for Blaydes. “If I have my way, I’ll take you down and drop you on your neck and that’s the fight. The option is there for me to knock you out, but we know what I want. We know what he wants. He doesn’t want to be on the floor. I want him on the floor. That’s pretty much the battle right there.”
Watch the full UFC 266 media day appearance from Curtis Blaydes above. More coverage from the event can be found below.