Saturday night’s UFC on ESPN card will be headlined by a clash between top-10 heavyweight contenders Curtis Blaydes (13-2-1) and Alexander Volkov (31-7). The fight will take place at the promotion’s APEX facility in Las Vegas.
Curtis Blaydes will enter the bout on a three-fight win streak, and in his four years on the UFC roster, he has beaten everyone in his way, not named Francis Ngannou. ‘Razor’ Blaydes is known as an elite wrestler with some vicious ground-and-pound attacks.
He has demonstrated his dangerous elbow attacks in numerous fights, most notably in his knockout victory over Alistair Overeem.
However, in his last fight against former UFC Heavyweight World Champion Junior Dos Santos, Blaydes showed some slick and patient boxing and stopped JDS on his feet at the start of the second round.
Alexander Volkov is a veteran and a former World Champion in Bellator but has fought only once since his KO loss to Derrick Lewis in 2018, which ended the Russian’s six-fight win streak.
He won his last outing against Greg Hardy by decision and continued to show off his brilliant kick-boxing ability.
After months of uncertainty regarding the Heavyweight division, the trilogy fight between Champion Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier is set to take place at UFC 252, on August 15, this fight should bring some more stability and clarity to the future of the division.
While Francis Ngannou is the clear frontrunner to face the winner of Miocic vs Cormier for the title, Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov are surely looking forward to solidifying themselves as legitimate contenders in a rather flat looking division.
Prediction: Curtis Blaydes is probably going to fight for the title before his career is up and his upward trajectory should continue on Saturday night. My prediction is that Blaydes will do what Fabricio Werdum did with relative ease against Volkov, which is to take the Russian down without much resistance. And I expect Blaydes to show off his ground-and-pound once again in a TKO victory.
Stay tuned for more fight coverage and news.