UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes wanted big fights and a bigger contract. He’s got the former for sure.
The promotion today announced Blaydes (10-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) will meet multi-promotion champ Alistair Overeem (43-16 MMA, 8-5 UFC) at UFC 225, which takes place June 9 at United Center in Chicago.
Although the official bout order has not been announced, it’s a near certainty the two will meet on the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Blaydes was last seen in the octagon this past month at UFC 221, where he earned the biggest win of his career to date with a unanimous decision over veteran slugger Mark Hunt (13-12-1 MMA, 8-6-1 UFC). It was his fourth win in five appearances (a TKO over Adam Milstead was overturned due to a positive drug test for marijuana).
Prior to the fight with Hunt, Blaydes revealed to MMAjunkie that his next bout would serve as his final obligation to the UFC under his current contract. He signaled his interest in a raise and didn’t rule out the possibility of entertaining an offer from Bellator.
While it’s unknown whether Blaydes has secured a new deal, it didn’t take long for him to sketch out his immediate future. Two days after UFC 221, he was calling for a spot on UFC 225, a homecoming opportunity considering his roots in Chicago.
Now, Blaydes takes another step up against Overeem, a onetime UFC title challenger seeking redemption after a brutal knockout loss to recent title challenger Francis Ngannou (11-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC). The concussive setback snapped a two-fight streak for the former Strikeforce and DREAM champ, though it didn’t extinguish his desire to compete.
With the addition, the latest UFC 225 lineup includes: