UFC on ESPN 11 Predictions: Curtis Blaydes vs Alexander Volkov

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June 19, 2020 3:04 pm

UFC on ESPN 11 is all set to have a massive Heavyweight clash serve as the main event. Fans will get to see 3rd ranked Curtis Blaydes face off against 7th ranked Alexander Volkov. The fight has huge implications in the division as current challenger Daniel Cormier will retire following his trilogy fight against Stipe Miocic. Francis Ngannou will fight the winner of the UFC 252 main event with Blaydes being next in line should he overcome ‘Drago.’

UFC on ESPN 11: Alexander Volkov vs Curtis Blaydes

Alexander Volkov

The 7th ranked Russian Heavyweight fighter has suffered defeat just once in his 6 fights in the UFC. It came against Derrick Lewis at the infamous UFC 229. Out of his 5 wins, 3 have come via decision. This includes a split decision over Timothy Johnson in his UFC debut at Fight Night: Mousasi vs Hall 2. In addition, he has unanimous decision wins over Roy Nelson (UFC on Fox: Johnson vs Reis) and Greg Hardy (Fight Night: Magomedsharipov vs Kattar). The latter was his final outing in the cage. 

The other two wins have come via finishes. One of them was against Fabricio Werdum and the other came against Stefan Struve. The latter which came in the 3rd round remains his quickest UFC finish. It is a clear indicator that he isn’t one to finish a fight. But his record of 20 KO/TKO wins from 31 fights does prove otherwise. At the pre-fight media interaction, he revealed he worked on his takedown defense. For his sake, he needs to hope that it is strong enough to withstand the onslaught from ‘Razor.’

Curtis Blaydes

The 3rd ranked Heavyweight, Curtis Blaydes is a polar opposite in fighting style. ‘Razor’ has never been involved in a submission despite having a wrestling heavy fight style. In 8 wins from 11 fights in the UFC, Blaydes has only had 3 decision wins. These came against Daniel Omielanczuk (UFC 213) and Justin Willis (Fight Night: Thompson vs Pettis) and Mark Hunt (UFC 221). He has finished off Cody East, Aleksei Oleinik, Shamil Abdurakhimov, and Junior dos Santos in the 2nd round. Only Alistair Overeem managed to pass the 10-minute mark before going down via TKO. 

WATCH: When Curtis Blaydes Destroyed Opponent in 13 Seconds in First MMA Fight

UFC on ESPN 11: Prediction

‘Razor’ will look to deplete his opponent and go for a stoppage. He hinted at wrestling in the pre-fight media interaction, but his tweet, later on, indicated that he will grapple for a quick finish.

However, that could open him up to counter-attack by ‘Drago’ who has more finishes than Blaydes has wins. But a majority of these have come before ‘Drago’ signed with the UFC. 

 The 3rd ranked fighter has momentum on his side with 3 wins on the bounce. His only professional defeats have come at the hand of the dangerous Francis Ngannou. The small Octagon too will favor Blaydes with him securing a 2nd round finish. If Volkov is to have any chance he needs to maintain his distance and avoid going to ground. 

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Reubyn Coutinho

Reubyn Coutinho is a multi-sport author and editor. His avid interest in flicking through various channels combined with an analytical mind and an intrinsic desire to know more about the game led him to gain a perspective on a plethora of sports. These interests combined with his flair for writing led him to be proficient across the board. Away from his professional responsibilities, he has a fascination for movies and books. Players that Reubyn supports: Roger Federer, Colby Covington, Conor McGregor.

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