Curtis Blaydes is not giving Francis Ngannou heavyweight GOAT status just yet.
With a very exciting heavyweight title fight coming up on Jan. 22, featuring champ Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane, another heavyweight is giving his thoughts on the division. Curtis Blaydes sat down with MMA News to discuss what he makes of the champion and the rest of his possible competition.
Blaydes spoke a bit about the differences between Ngannou and former champion Stipe Miocic. Blaydes isn’t ready to give the title of GOAT to Ngannou just yet and even feels that Miocic’s win over Ngannou was more impressive to him than Ngannou’s win over Miocic.
“No, no. That still goes to Stipe… Ngannou has not done enough, in my opinion, to be the greatest ever,” Blaydes said. “He’s very, very good, but when we’re talking the GOAT, you have to start to nitpick, and I’m gonna nitpick,” said Blaydes. “He’s lost rounds. Like, he got owned when he fought Stipe the first time. That wasn’t a good look. He got owned. I’ve never seen, even when Stipe lost, he never got owned. Like, he got knocked out by Ngannou; at heavyweight, anybody can get knocked out.
“I’m a lot more impressed by decisions. I know that’s weird to say, that a unanimous decision is more impressive than a knockout, but at heavyweight, anybody can get knocked out,” added Blaydes. “That’s just what heavyweights do. But for you to skillfully beat a guy for five rounds, that’s very impressive. I’ve yet to see a Ngannou do that. He hasn’t had to do that yet, but I don’t think he has that ability. I don’t think he wants to be in the Octagon for five rounds. He knows that’s not how he wins.”
Blaydes is currently ranked fourth in the heavyweight division. He has only lost one fight in his last six and holds wins over Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Blaydes could find himself next in line for a title shot if Ngannou wins.
Of course, there are other people in the mix, as Jon Jones’ heavyweight debut is looming and Stipe Miocic is still in the picture as well. Perhaps Blades could be matched up with Miocic sometime soon.
What do you think about Blaydes’ perception of Miocic and Ngannou?