Curtis Blaydes made a statement at UFC 225, when he would close out the preliminary card with an emphatic third-round TKO win over Alistair Overeem.
One fighter who took notice was UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who would catch the fights amid his observance of the holy month of Ramadan..
“I think Blaydes can become UFC champion,” Khabib told Anatomy of a Fighter producer Will Harris.
“He has very good wrestling, he’s young, he’s strong, he’s hungry, he has different motivation. I think he’s the new blood in the UFC’s heavyweight division.”
While he’s the new blood, Nurmagomedov doesn’t believe he’s unstoppable.
“I think only one guy can beat him. I think Daniel Cormier; he can beat him,” he said. “Other guys, even Stipe Miocic, I think for Stipe, he’s a bad matchup, because he pressures all the time, (he has) very good wrestling.”
“But, we’ll see. He’s the new blood,” Khabib said of Blaydes. “We have to wait (until after) July 7th (UFC 226). I think he deserves a title shot, more than everybody.”
Blaydes improved his record to 10-1 with his TKO of Overeem, with his only loss coming to former UFC heavyweight title challenger Frances Ngannou.
Original Event: Bloody Elbow