Curtis Blaydes
Is Curtis Blaydes the next UFC Heavyweight Champion? In a weight division full of turnover at the top, Blaydes feels like the best guess as next champion. (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Some future champions are easier to see than others. Isreal Adesanya was a lightning bolt that you just knew it was only a matter of time. Same for Jon Jones who wasn’t getting touched on his way to the belt. The UFC Heavyweight belt has been one with frequent turnover. Nobody has defended their belt more than 3 times in a row. Stipe Miotic only did that recently in 2018. Is Curtis Blaydes the next UFC heavyweight champion?

As I said, the heavyweight division has overgone constant turnover with it’s champions. Since 2010, it’s gone Shane Carwin, to Cain Velasquez, to Junior Dos Santos, back to Cain Velasquez, to Fabricio Werdum, to Stipe Miocic, to Daniel Cormier, back to Stipe Miocic. Maybe that’s the nature of the division. It just takes one blow when you’re that big and strong.

When projecting champs, it’s hard to get a gauge on what matters the most. It seems like having a plus wrestling background is a must. Velasquez, Cormier, and Miocic all have wrestling backgrounds. They are the ones that have been able to maintain success the longest. When projecting the next champ, Curtis Blaydes checks that box better than anybody else.

Blaydes holds the record for the most takedowns in UFC history at the heavyweight division with 45. Velasquez is the next closest with 34 with significantly more attempts. Blaydes is just 13-2 during his career too with a limited amount of fights. Wrestling is not an issue for Blaydes.

His hands are improving each and every fight. Blaydes is coming off a victory over Junior Dos Santos. He did so without landing a single takedown. It was Blaydes hands that took over with a TKO of JDS in the 2nd round. Doing that to JDS is no small feat. Dos Santos has the most knockouts in the history of the weight division with 14.

Blaydes has just one blemish on his resume. He lost to Francis Ngannou twice. Is that Blaydes ceiling or is Ngannou a bad matchup? What we do know is Blaydes is improving and has age (28) on his side. Blaydes is likely in line to get the next title shot after Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier strap it up for the trilogy. Regardless, it could be the last fight for Cormier win, lose, or draw.

Blaydes has a better shot to beat Miocic in the future than Ngannou does who has no wrestling and a limited gas tank. Is Curtis Blaydes the next UFC Heavyweight champion? In a weight class of constant turnover, he feels like the best guess.

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