Fourth-ranked heavyweight Curtis Blaydes rebounded from a loss in his last outing with a dominating performance in the UFC on ESPN+ 6 co-main event on Saturday in Nashville. Blaydes utterly dominated tenth ranked Justin Willis.
Blaydes didn't trash talk his outspoken opponent leading up to the fight. Instead, he let his wrestling speak for itself inside the octagon. In the opening round, Blaydes secured four takedowns. Each time Willis would work his way back to his feet, Blaydes slammed him back to the canvas.
In the second frame, Blaydes showed that he's not just a wrestler. He dropped Willis with a straight right hand in the opening moments of the round. He changed levels, elevated Willis and slammed him to the ground. Willis battled back to standing only to be powered back to the ground.
The final frame looked a lot like the first two. Blaydes closed the distance and controlled Willis in the clinch. He took Willis down and peppered him with punches while maintaining control. It was a one-sided fight and the scorecards reflected that. The judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-26, and 30-25.
"It feels so good to shut him up," said Blaydes following the dominating win. "Go home. Go home and work on your wrestling. Go home!"
The game plan was simple for Blaydes. He did exactly what he wanted to do. He outclassed Willis with his wrestling.
"We knew he couldn't wrestle. We knew I can wrestle. We were going to use my hands to get inside, wrestle, take it over," he said.
With the win over Willis, Blaydes wants to face one of the three heavyweights ranked in front of him next. He didn't specify which one.
"I hope to see Junior (do Santos), Derrick (Lewis, or Stipe (Miocic). One of those three," he said.