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Curtis Blaydes is set to headline UFC Fight Night against Alexander Volkov this Saturday night. Blaydes is ranked No. 3 in the UFC heavyweight division behind just Francis Ngannou and Daniel Cormier. He’s one of the best pound-for-pound MMA fighters in the world today, but he didn’t make it to the top without a bit of adversity. Blaydes made it to the peak of the sport despite battling a speech impediment his entire life.

Curtis Blaydes is the No. 3 ranked heavyweight in the UFC

Curtis Blaydes is one of the scariest fighters in the entire UFC. He’s currently ranked No. 3 in the heavyweight division, but he believes he can beat anyone in the sport right now.

Blaydes owns a 13-2 record in his UFC career. He stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs 261 pounds, and he’s one of the most best knock out artists in the entire sport. Eleven of Blaydes’ 13 wins in the UFC have come by TKO or KO.

The only two losses of Blaydes’ career were against heavyweight No. 2 Francis Ngannou. Ngannou has proved to be the most dominant knock out fighter in the entire UFC in 2020, but Blaydes has beaten every other challenger throughout his prolific career.

Blaydes is coming off three straight wins. He knocked out Junior Dos Santos in the second round in his most recent fight in January.

Blaydes has battled a speech impediment his entire life

Blaydes didn’t make it to where he is today without some adversity. Ever since he was a child, Blaydes battled a speech impediment and was constantly bullied because of it.

While in high school at De La Salle Institute in Chicago, girls would make fun of Blaydes for studdering every time he spoke. Instead of dwell on his impediment, though, Blaydes took his anger out on the wrestling mat.

Blaydes went 44-0 as a high school wrestler at De La Salle. He went on to wrestle in college at Northern Illinois, where he went 19-2 as a freshman. After one season at NIU, Blaydes transferred to Harper College. He won a national title at Harper, but he dropped out to pursue a career in MMA.

Blaydes can inch closer to becoming the No. 1 heavyweight in the world Saturday night


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Curtis Blaydes has fought in the main event twice before, and he holds a 1-1 record in those bouts. He lost to Ngannou the second time in November of 2018, but he beat Dos Santos in the main event in his most recent fight.

Blaydes has a chance to inch closer to the No. 1 spot in the UFC heavyweight division with a win over Alexander Volkov Saturday night. Eventually, he will have to beat Ngannou to overtake him in the rankings, but a win Saturday night will solidify his spot in the top three.

Blaydes is extremely confident heading into the main event, and he has been his entire fighting career. Battling a speech impediment growing up and fighting through bullying as a teenager led him to excel in the UFC.

Some athletes fold to adversity, but Blaydes embraces it.