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UFC on ESPN+ 24: Curtis Blaydes rips through Junior dos Santos

Overhand tactics reign supreme for 'Razor" Blaydes

Just like a razor blade.

Curtis Blaydes (12-2-0) used a big overhand right hand to stop former champion Junior dos Santos (21-7-0) in the second round of the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 24 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Blaydes tried unsuccessfully to get the takedown early in the first round, trading strikes with dos Santos who used leg kicks and strikes to punish the attempts. But Junior kept his left hand low while defending, something that Blaydes would use later on.

An overhand right hand by Blaydes connected during an early second round exchange which forced dos Santos up against the fence. Blaydes pounced with followup strikes that convinced referee Dan Miragliotta to call the bout at 1:06.

The win gives Blaydes (12-2-0) an emphatic statement win over a former champion and puts him right near the top of the heavyweight title shot conversation.

Conversely, it’s a tough loss for dos Santos, who at age 35 must now work his way back up or hope for injuries to return quickly to the title shot mix.

Brett Johns and Tony Gravely earned Fight of the Night while Alex Perez and Herbert Burns earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

The fighters have made weight and Kenai Andrew checks in with his thoughts on the main card.

In case you missed the prelims:

HERBERT BURNS DEF. NATE LANDWEHR VIA KO (KNEE) R1 2:43

SARA MCMANN DEF. LINA LANDSBERG VIA UD (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)

MONTEL JACKSON DEF. FELIPE COLARES VIA UD (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)

JUSTINE KISH DEF. LUCIE PUDILOVA VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

ARNOLD ALLEN DEF. NIK LENTZ VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

BEVON LEWIS DEF. DEQUAN TOWNSEND VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

MAIN CARD 

JAMAHAL HILL VS. DARKO STOSIC

WINNER: JAMAHAL HILL VIA UD (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JAMAHAL HILL VIA TKO

Andrews: Hill was just sharper with the jab and strikes while Stosic faded after the first round. Good win.

HANNAH CIFERS VS. ANGELA HILL

WINNER: ANGELA HILL VIA TKO (STRIKES) R2 4:26

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ANGELA HILL VIA UD

Andrews: Hill comes in on short notice and picks apart Cifers in the second round. Beautiful sweep and ground and pound. Cifers will be back.

Andrews Prediction: Angela Hill via UD

#11 JORDAN ESPINOZA VS. #12 ALEX PEREZ 

 

WINNER: ALEX PEREZ VIA SUBMISSION (ARM TRIANGLE) R1 2:33

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEX PEREZ VIA UD

Andrews: It didn’t take long for Perez to shake off the eye poke and get down to business. Excellent win.

#5 RAFAEL DOS ANJOS VS. MICHAEL CHIESA 

WINNER: MICHAEL CHIESA VIA UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MICHAEL CHIESA VIA UD

Andrews: RDA was a tough out but Chiesa’s gameplan shone through. Can he do this to Colby though?

MAIN EVENT

#3 CURTIS BLAYDES VS. JUNIOR DOS SANTOS

WINNER: CURTIS BLAYDES VIA TKO R2 

ANDREWS PREDICTION: CURTIS BLAYDES VIA TKO (STRIKES) R2 1:06

Andrews: Blaydes noticed JDS kept his left hand low and capitalized in the second round. Thats modern warfare tactics. It may be time for JDS to hang ’em up.

@kenaiandrews UFC on ESPN+ 24: Curtis Blaydes rips through Junior dos Santos

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Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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