Curtis Blaydes used his dominant wrestling to control Alexander Volkov on the mat for much of tonight’s UFC On ESPN 11 main event en-route to a unanimous decision victory.
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Blaydes feels out with the jab, Volkov lands one of his own cleanly, but Blaydes is immediately in on a takedown and lands it. Good start for him.
However, Volkov is able to stand back up, but Blaydes brings him back down to one knee quickly. Now Blaydes is landing knees to the upper thigh.
Volkov briefly stands, then goes back to one knee again. A couple of short punches to the head from Blaydes. A few more land, then back to the knees, high to the thigh and buttocks.
Volkov has been able to stand momentarily a few times, but immediately goes back to one knee again. He does stand for a slightly long period, but that just gives Blaydes time to land a more decisive takedown.
Volkov quickly moves back to one knee again and again Blaydes is landing knees to the rump. Volkov just can’t get out from under Blaydes here.
Volkov in the final minute of the round tries to work for a kimura attempt, but nothing down. Volkov stands, but Blaydes trips his legs out from under him as he brings him back down and then Volkov is back to one knee as the round ends.
Nice one-two from Blaydes and then more hard punches behind it. Leg kick now. He lands another hard punch. Another leg kick.
Jab for Blaydes and then a good right hand, followed by a successful takedown. What do you know, Volkov back to a knee, then stands. Deja Vu from round one. Blaydes still on his back, trips and brings him down and ends up in Volkov’s full guard towards the center of the Octagon.
Blaydes happy just to secure position here, only landing the occasional punch to stay active as he tries to grind down Volkov.
Not too much activity here until Blaydes lands a huge elbow close to the final minute of the round. He lands another big one.
Blaydes stands up and moves away in the final 20 seconds. Blaydes lands a body punch. Another takedown secured for Blaydes as the round ends.
Jab for Blaydes. Blaydes with a kick too as he stays busy on the feet. He lands a jab and then moves into a takedown attempt. This time Volkov stays upright, but Blaydes remains in the clinch.
Blaydes opts to back up to striking range, but it’s not long before Blaydes is back in again for the takedown opportunity. It doesn’t land for now. Blaydes still working for it though and Volkov does sink to the mat.
Not much happening from Blaydes on top and Volkov tries to struggle to his feet, but can’t manage it. Blaydes staying heavy on top.
A couple of hooks from Blaydes. He lands a nice punch and then traverses to Volkov’s back. Blayes moving to the front again. Volkov drops back trying for a guillotine choke, but nothing really doing there.
Volkov to one knee and stands again. Blaydes pushes him away and misses with an overhand. Blaydes tries another double leg, but it doesn’t pay off. He resets. Volkov with a punch and tries for a knee before the round ends.
Front kick to the body for Volkov. He tries for another, but then Blaydes moves to his back and pulls him down.
Volkov stands, but Blaydes is wearing him like a glove and brings him down again. Volkov back up and this time he stops Blaydes from getting another takedown.
That earns him a chance to strike, but Blaydes soon closes the distance again. Volkov again stays on his feet though and once again back to striking range.
Blaydes perhaps tiring a bit, but still manages to drive into another takedown and this time lands it in the center of the Octagon.
Not too much happening as Blaydes sits in full guard and this time the ref is pushing for more work. Short elbows to the head from Volkov.
Final minute and finally the ref stands them back up. Blaydes looked tired standing there. Jab for Volkov, Blaydes throws back. Volkov starting to stalk forward and lands again. Blaydes bleeding from the mouth now.
Volkov surprises by working for a takedown of his own and lands it – a moral victory for him to end the round.
Jab for Volkov. Both men miss in another exchange. Jab for Blaydes. Uppercut for Volkov. One-two for him.
Tired spinning backfist from Blaydes. Hard body kick for Volkov. He lands a jab. Overhand left for Blaydes.
Blaydes ducks under a punch and goes for the takedown – he lands it and that’s crucial as he was clearly running out of steam on the feet.
Blaydes circling to Volkov’s back, getting himself inbetween his opponent and the cage. Volkov able to shunt Blaydes off enough to stand back up, but Blaydes is still clinching up. Volkov is able to reverse the position though.
Back to striking range they go, but Blaydes quickly comes in on another takedown attempt. It doesn’t work, but he stays clinched up against the cage.
They do go back to ground, but Volkov partially stuffs it and lands a few punches to the head. Back up they go and Blaydes quickly puts him on his back again with his latest takedown.
Blaydes stays tight in Volkov’s guard and rides out the final seconds of the round.
A dominant display of wrestling from Blaydes here then and that earns him a clear unanimous decision victory (49-46, 48-47, 48-46).