Heavyweight Curtis Blaydes and UFC President Dana White have not gotten along well of late. Having fought as recently as June, Blaydes secured a decision victory over Alexander Volkov. Many claim that the cautious fighting style that Blaydes employs has left White rather unimpressed.
Blaydes dominated Alexander Volkov in a grapple-heavy but lackluster fight. White seemingly took issue with the performance, especially after Blaydes hyped up the event throughout fight week.
The UFC President was not impressed as he claimed that Blaydes had talked a lot of sh*t during the fight. “I don’t think he talked the sh*t he talked this week to come in and perform like that, talking about ragdolling people, he’s not getting paid, he should get the title shot. He gassed out at the end of the third round. He made it to the fifth and won the fight.”
Blaydes seemed to hit back as he went on the Luke Thomas show to discuss his issues with the company. “He doesn’t like me for three reasons. A, I speak my mind, he doesn’t like that. B, my style, what I bring to the Octagon. I’m very grappling heavy.
“And C, because yeah, I do believe I don’t get paid what I’m worth and I speak on that,” Blaydes told Luke Thomas. “So he’s just using this to try to make me feel bad I guess, so I won’t speak out again but it’s not going to work.
“What’s wrong is wrong and when I have a platform and I’m able to speak on it, I want to speak on it.”
While fighter pay has always been a contentious issue in the UFC. Fighters like Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov can captivate the audience, and earn millions in pay-per-view. However, it is tougher for the relatively less known fighters to get paid what they feel they are worth.
“He knows we’re not getting paid enough and then he takes away the option to get big money out of sponsors because they got the Reebok deal,” Blaydes added.
“Let’s just do away with the Reebok deal. Give us the option to get outside sponsors to cash big money. Give us that. That’s a start. I know this is THE taboo word and we aren’t supposed to speak of it, but a union.
“Every other major sports league has a union, so I think that’s probably the only way for us to get what we want, but I don’t know how that’s going to happen.”
Athletes have long suggested the formation of a union; however, it has never really worked out due to various reasons. Blaydes signed with the UFC in 2016 and has only ever lost twice in his 12 fights in the UFC. Both losses coming at the hands of #1 contender Francis Ngannou.
Blaydes will now take on Derrick Lewis in the main event this weekend at UFC on ESPN 18. While there is a logjam at heavyweight due to Stipe Miocic’s injury, a win would put Blaydes in a good place to possibly take on the winner of Miocic vs Ngannou 2.
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