Curtis Blaydes earned a TKO victory over Chris Daukaus on Saturday night and is now looking for a fight with one of the division’s top two contenders, Ciryl Gane or Stipe Miocic, next time out.
“A win over Gane, who was on a hot streak, who was just in a title fight, a win over him should put me as the next title contender – the same thing with Stipe,” Blaydes said post-fight.
“He’s [Miocic] the G.O.A.T., in my opinion. He’s the G.O.A.T. of this heavyweight division. He honestly deserved a rematch a while ago. But if he’s willing to risk it against me, and I beat him, that’s the same thing. A title shot for me would be the same thing after beating Gane or Stipe.”
Bladyes also went on to reveal that Miocic was a former training partner of his a decade ago, and is honest enough to admit that things did not go well for him in their sparring sessions back then.
“We worked out together, years ago when I was not very good,” Blaydes said. “He destroyed me every sparring. I don’t have no awesome sparring stories. He was levels and levels above me. I helped him get ready for [Gabriel] Gonzaga. That was back in 2012. I had just begun my amateur career in that year.
“I respect him, but I believe I’m on his level. I believe I can take him down. I know I can take him down because I did take him down. But I also believe, if we get in a striking battle, I can strike with him. I’ve got the footwork. I’ve got the acumen. I believe in my coaches. I know I can hang with anybody on the feet.”
Whether it’s Miocic, Gane or someone else that comes next though, Blaydes believes that it’s only a matter of time before he achieves his goal of becoming the UFC’s heavyweight champion.
“I’m not in a rush,” Blaydes said. “I’m not broke and I want what I want. I don’t want to fight guys just to fight guys. I’m trying to get to the belt so whoever that is, whatever route I have to take to get there the fastest, is the route I want. I have a pre-determined route. Whoever I believe is going to me there the fastest and right now I believe it would be Gane but it might be Stipe. If it’s Stipe, I’ll take Stipe.
“I have no doubts in my mind [I’ll be champion]. That’s why I’ve never been in a rush. I knew I’d get there. I’m only 31. I’m going to be here. I’ve got eight more years. I’m going to be here. That belt is going to be mine.”