Exclusive: Curtis Blaydes Is Happy With Fighting Mark Hunt At UFC 221

Curtis Blaydes is ready for a long battle with Mark Hunt.

Ninth-ranked UFC Heavyweight Curtis Blaydes has been scheduled to face fifth-ranked Mark Hunt at UFC 221. In an interview which was featured on Fightful MMA's podcast Holy Smokes, Blaydes told Fightful MMA's James Lynch that he wanted to fight someone ranked higher than him.

"It was presented to me by the UFC. Originally, this is what I wanted. I wanted a higher ranked opponent. Originally it was between Tybura and Derrick Lewis but they ended up getting matched up," said Blaydes. "I didn't have any idea who I was going to get. It could have been (Hunt). I was ready for him, Velasquez, Werdum, any of those guys. I'm glad I got what I wanted originally a higher ranked opponent," he continued.

Blaydes told Lynch that because of Hunt's proven toughness he will not try to knock out Hunt in the early rounds.

"I'm not even thinking about a TKO or a KO. I know he has one of the toughest jaws in the history of the heavyweight rankings. Even though he's had a couple ups and downs, I still respect him. He's still a legend so I want to treat him as such. I'm going into this fight with pretty much the same game plan as my last fight," said Blaydes.

The heavyweight went on to say his game plan is to stay standing with Mark Hunt and he has been preparing to avoid Hunt's overhand right punches and uppercuts.

The full interview with Blaydes can be watched on FightfulMMA.com and covers topics like Blaydes opinions on the upcoming UFC Heavyweight Championship bout and his holiday plans. The video of the interview is also featured below.

Holy Smokes airs Wednesdays at 3 pm on FightfulPods.com.

In the full interview, Curtis Blaydes (8-1, NC) discusses his upcoming fight against Mark Hunt (13-11-1, NC) at UFC 221 on Feb. 10. Curtis also talks about how this matchup came together, his thoughts on the heavyweight title fight at UFC 220, heading out to Vegas for New Years Eve and his favorite Christmas movie.

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