Look at Curtis Blaydes’ Rivalry With Francis Ngannou

Published 02/21/2021, 10:00 AM EST


Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou is one of the most dominant fighters in the UFC heavyweight division, and perhaps in the world. He has immense knockout power, and a testament to his ability is that his last four fights were all first-round finishes, with only Junior dos Santos crossing the one-minute mark in the fight.

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Francis Ngannou’s last four fights combined didn’t last one round. That’s unreal! Among these four wins was a win over fellow heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes. Blaydes was knocked out after 45 seconds, but he did claim that it was an early stoppage.

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Ngannou caught him with an overhand right that was so powerful that it broke through Curtis’ defending hand and knocked him down. The fight was a foregone conclusion from thereon.

Francis Ngannou vs. Curtis Blaydes: The first fight

The two had faced off earlier in their careers before. Blaydes and Ngannou fought at UFC Fight Night 86: Rothwell vs. Dos Santos held in Zagreb, Croatia. This fight lasted longer than the second one, but the outcome was similar. It was stopped because of a doctor’s stoppage.

The match went on for two rounds, and Francis won it after Blaydes had a dangerous cut above his eye, which didn’t allow him to continue the fight.

Cameroonian-French UFC heavyweight fighter Francis Ngannou (L) knocks down Curtis Blaydes of the US during the main event of the UFC Fight Night in Beijing on November 24, 2018. – The event was the first UFC Fight Night to be held in Beijing. (Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP) (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images) 

However, Blaydes has shown an incredible amount of courage by asking for a fight for a third time. He believes that he could’ve gone on in the first fight, and similarly, the second fight saw an early stoppage, and Curtis stood up to oppose the referee’s decision.

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Both of them look to be on a collision course towards each other, as Francis is fighting for the belt and Curtis is fighting another heavyweight Derrick Lewis in a potential No. 1 contender’s match. If they both win their respective fights, then Blaydes might get his wish immediately.

Do you think Blaydes can survive another onslaught from ‘The Predator’?

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Aniket Awasthi

319 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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