Rising heavyweight star Curtis “Razor” Blaydes has been handed his stiffest test yet in the form of number 2 ranked heavyweight Alistair Overeem. The fight was confirmed by the UFC this evening and is set to take place at UFC 225 in Blaydes home town of Chicago.
Overeem hasn’t fought since being on the receiving end of a highlight reel uppercut from former title challenger Francis Ngannou at UFC 218 last December. The 37-year old veteran holds an impressive record of 43 wins and 16 losses with 1 no contest. The big question mark over “Reem” is how he will bounce back from such a devastating knock out in his last outing. Of his 16 losses, 11 of these have come via KO/TKO but none were as spectacular as the one dished out by Ngannou.
Blaydes enters the fight with just 10 professional bouts to his name and a record of 9-1-0 with 1 no contest with seven of those nine victories coming via KO/TKO. The 27-year old Chicago native’s rise to the upper echelons of the heavyweight division has been a rapid one. His first an only professional loss came in his UFC debut in April 2016 against none other than Francis Ngannou. Since then, Blaydes has been unstoppable. The only blot in his copy book came from his brutal victory over Adam Milstead being overturned to a no contest thanks to the Texas Athletic Commission rules over marijuana usage.
In his last outing, Blaydes secured the biggest fight of his short career in with an impressive decision victory over heavy handed veteran Mark Hunt at UFC 221. It was a mature performance from the former college wrestler in using his high fight IQ to recognise the risk in engaging in a stand up battle with Hunt. Blaydes wrestled his way to a lop sided decision victory which elevated him to the number 5 spot in the UFC heavyweight division.
A victory for Blaydes would almost certainly put him in position for a shot at the heavyweight title fight between current champion Stipe Miocic and the challenging light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
With six wins in his last seven fights, for Overeem this fight is a chance to prove he can move on from the brutal knockout he received and begin to make his case for a chance to capture the one thing missing from his decorated career. The UFC heavyweight championship.