Curtis Blaydes will be headlining UFC Beijing this Saturday on UFC Fight Pass when he takes on familiar foe Francis Ngannou in the Cadillac Arena in a fight that could very well be the final bout that stands in the way of Blaydes and a crack at the UFC heavyweight championship. And Curtis Blaydes couldn’t be more prepared mentally or physically:
“I’ve been grinding my whole life,” Blaydes said in an interview with MMANytt this week. “I’ve been a winner my whole life and I’ve never allowed that to change the person I am.
“I won in high school, I won states, I won in college, I won nationals, I won amateurs and I won as a pro. Maybe it doesn’t affect me because I expected it to happen. I expect to be champion. I knew this would happen.
“I knew I would be where I am today eventually. I knew it would happen. I just act like I’ve been there before.”
“I don’t plan on becoming a rock star. That’s not me.”
Who Curtis Blaydes is, is a man who vows to never lose his hunger and determination to be the best, something that many have determined cannot be said for Blaydes’s opponent, Francis Ngannou, whom many believe has not been the same since losing to Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 in January:
“A lot of guys get here and they get complacent and they stop doing the things that got them there,” Blaydes said. “They stop grinding. They stop doing the extra sprints after a hard wrestling practice. They stop beating up the bag for an extra round after practice. They stop doing those things. It catches up to them.
“There’s other young, hungry guys who don’t have what they have and they are willing to do what they need to do to take it. I don’t plan on getting complacent.”
Do you believe the hunger of Curtis Blaydes will be the difference in his bout against Francis Ngannou at UFC Beijing?