Curtis Blaydes defeated Junior dos Santos via TKO at UFC Raleigh tonight. The American continues his climb towards the top with a win over one of the former heavyweight champions.
“I feel great,” Blaydes said. “Going against a guy like Junior, a legitimate legend, one of the OGs of the sport, was an honor. But to get the W in the main event, with the way I did, I couldn’t be happier.”
The fans at the PNC Arena saw a fight, which was a bit different than expected. Blaydes (13-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who is one of the best wrestlers in the UFC, didn’t have a single takedown, but instead, won this one in the standup.
Blaydes takes out Dos Santos. Wow. pic.twitter.com/DGhBBizmWY
— Joe Rodriguez (@CowboysBlogNet) January 26, 2020
What decided this contest was an overhead right in the second round. Dos Santos (21-7 MMA, 15-6 UFC), the veteran of this sport, lost his balance after that, which was a sign for the American to give his best and to start attacking with full power.
Blaydes started kicking and punching the Brazilian, who couldn’t defend at all. The referee in the ring Dan Miragliotta stepped in between, stopping the fight and saving the former champion from a far worse beating.
This was Cigano’s second loss in a row, and it was again a TKO. After getting trashed against Francis Ngannou, Blaydes too outpowered him. It is most evident that he isn’t as strong as before, and that his chin is no longer tough as it used to be. But with 35-years of age that is something expected as well.
Blaydes meanwhile, continues to go up in the heavyweight category. The only man who stopped him so far was Ngannou, and that happened twice. But so far, everything else was good. With this win, Razor, as the fans call him, became one of the potential candidates for having a title match. He called out the organization following this fight, saying that it is time for him to get his chance.
“I want that title shot,” Blaydes said. “You know I’m next. I showed that wrestling, I showed those hands, I don’t know what else I need to do. I want that title shot.”
Having in mind that he lost to Ngannou twice, and that the French so far defeated all the main contender for the title match, it is not expected for Blaydes to go before the Predator. But then again, UFC and Dana White have plans of their own.
In the co-main event of the UFC Raleigh, Michael Chiesa (16-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) won his third straight fight since moving up to the welterweight category. His victim this time was Rafael dos Anjos (29-13 MMA, 18-11 UFC), whom he defeated via unanimous decision, after being better in all three rounds of their contest.
"Colby Covington, I'll see you in July."
— UFC (@ufc) January 26, 2020
Chiesa used his grappling to control the situation in the ring, and to wear down the opponent, who didn’t have many chances to avoid this loss. His appetites after defeating the former lightweight champion immediately rose following the fight, as he called out the next opponent.
“I’d like to cut this interview short and call out my next opponent,” Chiesa said. “Colby Covington, I’ll see you in July.”
Dos Anjos lost for the fourth time over the past five fights, and it is obvious that he too, as well as his compatriot dos Santos, is on the decline.
Alex Perez defeated Jordan Espinosa in flyweight, Angela Hill beat Hannah Cifers in strawweight, and Jamahal Hill beat Darko Stosic via unanimous decision,
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.