Usually known for his high level grappling skills, Curtis Blaydes showed the world a new side to his game as he knocked out Junior Dos Santos with a hay-maker of a right hand during the second round of their fight at UFC on ESPN+ 24 on Saturday.
Speaking to MMA Junkie after the fight, Blaydes revealed that striking is usually his last resort or 'Plan Z' because wrestling makes him less susceptible to damage in a fight. He said that he was using his wrestling to set up an over hand shot that would finish Santos.
“I just used my wrestling to set up my hands. After that first round where I went 0-for-8 in the shots, we knew he was really committed to not letting me get him to the ground. We used those openings I created with the pump fakes and the high-lows. We capitalized with the overhand. That’s the best path to victory. I don’t like getting hit in the face. I know if I put you on your butt, you can’t hit me. I don’t mean to be mean to the fans. I know they want me to stand and bang, but it’s not ever going to be my gameplan. It’s always going to be wrestle, wrestle, wrestle, wrestle, wrestle. Plan Z is strike.”
Blaydes is now on a three fight winning streak and he has also come out on top seven out of the last eight times he fought. Blaydes could get a shot at the UFC heavyweight title in the near future and he is hoping he gets it sooner rather than later.
“I don’t make the rules. I’d like that to be a title shot, but you never know. I hope. That’s all I can do is hope. I like to be active. I like to get in at least three fights a year. I could wait five to six months, but nothing I say tonight is in stone. It literally just happened. Who knows what happens with Ngannou, Rozenstruik, DC – I don’t know what’s going on.”Published 26 Jan 2020, 20:14 IST