Curtis Blaydes has long been involved in the UFC’s heavyweight title picture, but that shot at winning the championship eludes him.
That trend is set to continue in the immediate future even if he defeats former title challenger Derrick Lewis on Saturday night.
UFC President Dana White revealed last weekend that ex-UFC light heavyweight king Jon “Bones” Jones will fight either current champion Stipe Miocic or contender Francis Ngannou in the summer. Miocic and Ngannou are set to compete for heavyweight gold at UFC 260 on 27 March.
“I expected it. It’s Jon Jones. He’s a money fight,” Blaydes bluntly told ESPN‘s Ariel Helwani in an interview. “If he wants to fight for the belt, yeah, he gets to fight for the belt. I’m not shocked. Do I think it’s the most fair thing? No, but that’s not what this business is about. It’s not about fair and who’s earned what.”
It’s a very honest take for a man who has long campaigned, and waited, for a crack at either of the UFC’s most recent heavyweight champions in Miocic and Daniel Cormier.
Blaydes concedes that Jones’ reputation as one of the greatest to ever do it at 205 pounds is where the money will be made for the UFC when he steps up a weight class to try and become a two-weight division.
The wrestler compared the situation to what is happening at Jones’ old light heavyweight stomping ground – where UFC middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya is getting an immediate title shot against Poland’s Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259. Blaydes says he can relate and sympathise with a light heavyweight who is stuck in a similar position to him.
“I think Glover Teixeira at light heavyweight, he should’ve been next,” Blaydes said. “But hey, Izzy [Israel Adesanya] wants to bump up, you let Izzy bump up. It works like that for all weight classes. I wasn’t shocked at all [at Dana White’s revelation about Jon Jones].”