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Curtis Blaydes believes he is Jon Jones’ toughest matchup

Curtis Blaydes Jon Jones
Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Curtis Blaydes believes he is Jon Jones’ toughest matchup

The headliner for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night will be an explosive heavyweight battle between Curtis Blaydes and Sergei Pavlovich. The winner of the UFC Fight Night main event will likely receive a title shot against the winner of Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic in the future.

If victorious, Blaydes considers himself to be the fighter with the best skillset to dethrone the UFC’s greatest, heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Blaydes was not shy about his feelings or his chances against Jones.

“I have the size, I have the wrestling, I have the athleticism, I have the speed, I have the agility,” he said, according to Damon Martin of MMA Fighting. “I have all the things you need to match up with a talent like Jon Jones.”

Blaydes also broke down a little bit of how he believes the potential matchup with Jones would play out.

“I know he has the reach, his arms are longer than my reach,” he said. “I would have to find a way to get in that zone type of range and I might have to use elbows, I might have to get in the clinch but I believe I could take him down. I believe once I take anyone down, the odds are in my favor.”

Blaydes, the No. 4-ranked heavyweight, is currently riding a three-fight win streak. His competition on Saturday will be no joke, however. Sergei Pavlovich (No. 3) has taken the division by storm with his own five-fight win streak, including knocking out Tai Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis in just one minute and 49 seconds combined over his last two fights.

The winner of Saturday’s fight between Blaydes and Pavlovich will in all likelihood rise to the No. 1 contender ranking in the UFC’s heavyweight division.

Do Jones and Miocic Both Retire After UFC 290?

Jon Jones versus Stipe Miocic is set to happen, but has not been confirmed with a date or location. Miocic has repeatedly claimed that the championship bout will take place during International Fight Week at UFC 290.

Jones hinted at retirement on Twitter after just one fight. The former light heavyweight and current heavyweight champion just recently returned to UFC 285 after an over three-year hiatus.

Blaydes is one of the few people in the heavyweight division outwardly against this possibility. Assuming he gets through Sergei Pavlovich, Blaydes stated regarding Jones’ potential retirement:

“I think that would be a fantastic matchup and I hope it happens. I believe it in a lot more right now than I did a year and a half ago,” Blaydes said. “He can hang out until 38 easily, maybe even push it to 39. He’s in that category of LeBron [James], Tom Brady, Rafael Nadal, the outliers. He can fight for as long as his mind is in it.”

It would be a shame to see Jones at least not make a legitimate run at the record of heavyweight championship defense (4). He is still undoubtedly the UFC’s G.O.A.T., whether he retires or not.

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