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The Sports Daily > MMA Manifesto
UFC 217 Prelim Breakout Star: Curtis Blaydes
LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 9: Curtis Blaydes stands in the Octagon prior to his bout against Daniel Omielanczuk during the UFC 213 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 9, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

 

The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented guy on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.

 

While the main card is most definitely the most highly anticipated in recent memory, the prelims of UFC 217 are by far the most relevant. There is not a fight on this card that doesn’t include at least one hot prospect. So, sifting through the treasures of this card, we think we’ve found the most intriguing.

 

Curtis Blaydes
Nickname – Razor
Affiliation – Elevation Fight Team
From – Chicago, Illinois
Height – 6’4″
Weight – 255 lbs (Heavyweight)
Record – 7-1 (2-1 UFC)

 

What makes him impressive

In a division that has slowly lost the majority of its talented wrestlers, Blaydes brings back that style. He’s averaging over a takedown per round after four fights in his career, which includes dragging top prospect Francis Ngannou to the ground twice. His power on the takedowns is only really matched by his violence on the mat. His ground and pound is vicious and has the ability to stop just about any heavyweight if given the opening.

 

Why he has been overlooked 

The fight with Ngannou was one that made it tough to build hype. While he looked good in spots, Ngannou was able to get the TKO due to Blaydes’s swollen eyes. However, this makes Blaydes the only one who was able to withstand Ngannou’s onslaught without being knocked out or viciously submitted. Also, his last fight with Daniel Omeilanczuk was not the most exciting, which makes it hard to build a big fan base.

 

What makes this a good match-up

Oleksiy Oliynyk is a talented grappler. He can submit people from either the top or bottom. However, he has never faced a guy with ground and pound that makes him work to defend himself. In the words of the great Carlson Gracie, “Punch a black belt in the face, he becomes a brown belt. Punch him again, purple…”

 

Record: 127 Wins, 55 Losses, 1 Draw, 2 NC, 6 Did Not Fight (DNF)

  1. Francisco Trinaldo – UFC on FX: Belfort vs Bisping (W)
  2. Simeon Thoresen – UFC on Fox: Johnson vs Dodson (L)
  3. Tyron Woodley – UFC 156 (W)
  4. Vaughan Lee – UFC on Fuel: Barao vs McDonald (W)
  5. Dennis Bermudez – UFC 157 (W)
  6. Cristiano Marcello – UFC on Fuel: Stann vs Silva (L)
  7. Daron Cruickshank – UFC 158 (L)
  8. Ryan LaFlare – UFC on Fuel: Mousasi vs Latifi (W)
  9. Bart Palaszewski – TUF Finale (L)
  10. Yoel Romero – UFC on Fox: Henderson vs Melendez (W)
  11. Rustam Khabilov – UFC 159 (W)
  12. Fabio Maldonado – UFC on FX: Belfort vs Rockhold (W)
  13. Khabib Nurmagomedov – UFC 160 (W)
  14. Antonio Braga Neto – UFC on Fuel: Nogueira vs Werdum (W)
  15. Roland Delorme – UFC 161 (W)
  16. Seth Baczynski – UFC 162 (L)
  17. Jorge Masvidal – UFC on Fox: Johnson vs Moraga (W)
  18. Ednaldo Oliveira – UFC 163 (L)
  19. Mike Brown – UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs Sonnen (L)
  20. Dylan Andrews – UFC Fight Night: Condit vs Kampmann (W)
  21. Soa Palelei – UFC 164 (W)
  22. Elias Silverio – UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs Bader (W)
  23. John Makdessi – UFC 165 (W)
  24. Alan Patrick – UFC Fight Night: Maia vs Shields (W)
  25. Andre Fili – UFC 166 (W)
  26. Jimy Hettes – UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Munoz (W)
  27. Germaine de Randamie – UFC Fight for the Troops 3 (L)
  28. Omari Akhmedov – UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs Henderson (W)
  29. Sergio Pettis – UFC 167 (W)
  30. Roxanne Modafferi – TUF Finale (L)
  31. Takeya Mizugaki – UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs Bigfoot (W)
  32. Alptekin Ozkilic – UFC on Fox: Johnson vs Benavidez (W)
  33. Siyar Bahadurzada – UFC 168 (L)
  34. Mairbek Taisumov – UFC Fight Night: Saffiedine vs Lim (W)
  35. Charlie Brenneman – UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs Philippou (L)
  36. Walt Harris – UFC on Fox: Henderson vs Thomson (L)
  37. Clint Hester – UFC 169 (W)
  38. Joe Proctor – UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Mousasi (W)
  39. Aljamain Sterling – UFC 170 (W)
  40. Zak Cummings – TUF China Finale (DNF)
  41. Cyrille Diabate – UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs Manuwa (L)
  42. Mats Nilsson – UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs Manuwa (L)
  43. Alex Garcia – UFC 171 (W)
  44. Hans Stringer – UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs Henderson (W)
  45. Jim Alers – UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs Nelson (W)
  46. Ryan Jimmo – TUF Finale (W)
  47. Caio Magalhaes – UFC on Fox: Werdum vs Browne (W)
  48. Joe Ellenberger – UFC 172 (DNF)
  49. Kyoji Horiguchi – UFC Fight Night: Brown vs Silva (W)
  50. Francisco Trinaldo – UFC 173 (L)
  51. Iuri Alcantara – UFC FIght Night: Mousasi vs Munoz (W)
  52. Paulo Thiago – TUF Brazil Finale (L)
  53. Jon Tuck – UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs Khabilov (W)
  54. Mike Easton – UFC 174 (L)
  55. Ian Entwistle – UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs Te Huna (L)
  56. Ray Borg – UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs Stevens (W)
  57. Rob Font – UFC 175 (W)
  58. Derrick Lewis – TUF Finale (W)
  59. Jessamyn Duke – UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs Miller (L)
  60. Nikita Krylov – UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs Brandao (W)
  61. Patrick Cummins – UFC on Fox: Lawler vs Brown (W)
  62. Sam Alvey – UFC Fight Night: Bader vs Saint Preux (L)
  63. Yuta Sasaki – UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs Le (W)
  64. Ben Saunders – UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs dos Anjos (W)
  65. Damon Jackson – UFC 177 (L)
  66. Chas Skelly – UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs Mousasi (W)
  67. Godofredo ‘Pepey’ Castro – UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs Arlovski (W)
  68. Alex Caceres – UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs Nelson (L)
  69. Cody Gibson – UFC 178 (L)
  70. Marcin Bandel – UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs Story (L)
  71. Jason Saggo -UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs Saffiedine (L)
  72. Yan Cabral – UFC 179 (W)
  73. Jake Mathews – UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs Bisping (W)
  74. Thomas Almeida – UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs Saint Preux (W)
  75. Gabriel Benitez – UFC 180 (W)
  76. Paige VanZant – UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs Swanson (W)
  77. Clay Collard – UFC 181 (W)
  78. Aisling Daly – TUF Finale (W)
  79. Jamie Varner – UFC on Fox 13 (L)
  80. Jake Collier – UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Dollaway (L)
  81. Alexis Dufresne – UFC 182 (L)
  82. Charles Rosa – UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs Siver (W)
  83. Konstantin Erokhin – UFC on Fox: Gustafsson vs Johnson (L)
  84. Sara McMann – UFC 183 (L)
  85. James Moontasri – UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs Thatch (W)
  86. William ‘Patolino’ Macario – UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs Mir (L)
  87. Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto – UFC 184 – (NC)
  88. Joseph Duffy – UFC 185 (W)
  89. Christos Giagos – UFC Fight Night: Maia vs LaFlare (W)
  90. Ron Stallings – UFC Fight Night: Lamas vs Mendes (W)
  91. Stevie Ray – UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs Cro Cop 2 (W)
  92. Beneil Dariush – UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs Machida (W)
  93. Olivier Aubin-Mercier – UFC 186 (W)
  94. Lisa Ellis – UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs Miocic (L)
  95. Dhiego Lima – UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs Faber (L)
  96. Islam Makhachev – UFC 187 (W)
  97. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos – UFC Fight Night: Condit vs Alves (L)
  98. Ricardo Abreu – UFC Fight Night: Boetsch vs Henderson (L)
  99. Henry Cejudo – UFC 188 (W)
  100. Makwan Amirkhani – UFC Fight Night: Jedrzejczyk (W)
  101. Steve Mongtomery – UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Romero (L)
  102. Cody Garbrandt – UFC 189 (W)
  103. George Sullivan – UFC Fight Night: Ellenberger vs Thompson (W)
  104. Kevin Casey – UFC Fight Night: Mir vs Duffee (W)
  105. Jimmie Rivera – UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs Leites (W)
  106. Andrew Holbrook – UFC on Fox 16 (W)
  107. Warlley Alves – UFC 190 (W)
  108. Frankie Saenz – UFC Fight Night: St. Preux vs Teixeira (W)
  109. Misha Cirkunov – UFC Fight Night: Oliveira vs Holloway (W)
  110. Nazareno Malegarie – UFC 191 (L)
  111. Shinsho Anzai – UFC Fight Night: Barnett vs Nelson (W)
  112. Sage Northcutt – UFC 192 (W)
  113. Tom Breese – UFC Fight Night: Holohan vs Smolka (W)
  114. Johnny Case – UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs Henderson (W)
  115. Kyle Noke – UFC 193 (W)
  116. Taylor Lapilus – UFC Fight Night: Gastelum vs Magny (L)
  117. Yui Chul Nam – UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs Masvidal (L)
  118. Santiago Ponzinibbio – UFC Fight Night: VanZant vs Namajunas (W)
  119. Ryan Hall – TUF Finale (W)
  120. Tecia Torres – UFC 194 (W)
  121. Tamdan McCrory – UFC on Fox 17 (W)
  122. Scott Holtzman – UFC 195 (L)
  123. Ilir Latifi – UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs Cruz (W)
  124. Dustin Ortiz – UFC on Fox 18 (L)
  125. Noad Lahat – UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs Thompson (L)
  126. Ashlee Evans-Smith – UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs Cowboy (W)
  127. Arnold Allen – UFC Fight Night: Silva vs Bisping (W)
  128. Vitor Miranda – UFC 196 (W)
  129. Daniel Hooker – UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs Mir (W)
  130. Bojan Velickovic – UFC Fight Night: Dos Santos vs Rothwell (W)
  131. Oluwale Bangbose – UFC on Fox 19 (L)
  132. Kevin Lee – UFC 197 (W)
  133. Garreth McLellan – UFC Fight Night: Arlovski vs Overeem (L)
  134. Sergio Moraes – UFC 198 (D)
  135. Adam Milstead – UFC Fight Night: Almeida vs Garbrandt (W)
  136. Jessica Penne – UFC 199 (L)
  137. Colby Covington – UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs MacDonald (W)
  138. Gilbert Burns – UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs Alvarez (W)
  139. Cory Hendricks – TUF Fianle (L)
  140. Joe Lauzon – UFC 200 (W)
  141. Lauren Murphy – UFC Fight Night: McDonald vs Lineker (L)
  142. Dmitry Smoliakov – UFC on Fox 20 (L)
  143. Michael Graves – UFC 201 (W)
  144. Teruto Ishihara – UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs Caceres (W)
  145. Marvin Vettori – UFC 202 (W)
  146. Kyle Bochniak – UFC on Fox 21 (W)
  147. Jim Wallhead – UFC Fight Night: Arlovski vs Barnett (L)
  148. Ian McCall – UFC 202 (DNF)
  149. Belal Muhammad – UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs Johnson (W)
  150. Michinori Tanaka – UFC Fight Night: Cyborg vs Lansberg (L)
  151. Ion Cutelaba – UFC Fight Night: Lineker vs Dodson (W)
  152. Marc Diakiese – UFC 204 (W)
  153. Enrique Barzola – TUF Latin America Finale (W)
  154. Liz Carmouche – UFC 205 (W)
  155. Darren Stewart – UFC Fight Night : Mousasi vs Hall (W)
  156. Justin Ledet – UFC Fight Night: Bader vs Nogueira (W)
  157. Tyson Pedro – UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs Brunson (W)
  158. Kailin Curran – TUF Finale (L)
  159. Justine Kish – UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Abdurikhimov (W)
  160. Lando Vannata – UFC 206 (W)
  161. John Emmett – UFC on Fox 22 (W)
  162. Tim Means – UFC 207 (NC)
  163. Drakkar Klose – UFC Fight Night: Rodriquez vs Penn (W)
  164. Jordan Johnson – UFC on Fox 23 (W)
  165. Niko Price – UFC Fight Night: Bermudez vs Jung (W)
  166. Rick Glenn – UFC 208 (W)
  167. Gerald Meerschaert – UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Browne (W)
  168. Andre Soukhamthath – UFC 209 (L)
  169. Michel Prazeres – UFC Fight Night: Gastelum vs Belfort (W)
  170. Tim Johnson – UFC Fight Night: Manuwa vs Anderson (W)
  171. Des Green – UFC 210 (W)
  172. Hector Sandoval – UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs Lobov (W)
  173. Rashad Coulter – UFC 211 (L)
  174. Nico Musoke – UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs Teixeira (L)
  175. Antonio Carlos Jr. – UFC 212 (W)
  176. JJ Aldrich – UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs Lewis (W)
  177. Li Jiangling – UFC Fight Night: Holm vs Correia (W)
  178. Darrell Horcher – UFC Fight Night: Lee vs Chiesa (W)
  179. Aspen Ladd – TUF Finale (DNF)
  180. Trevin Giles – UFC 213 (W)
  181. Leslie Smith – UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs Ponzinibbio (W)
  182. Shane Burgos – UFC on Fox 25 (W)
  183. Brian Ortega – UFC 214 (W)
  184. Bradley Scott – UFC Fight Night: Pettis vs Moreno (L)
  185. Zabit Magomedsharipov – UFC Fight Night Struve vs Volkov (W)
  186. Arjan Bhullar – UFC 215 (W)
  187. Luke Sanders – UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs Branch (DNF)
  188. Syuri Kondo – UFC Fight Night: St. Preux vs Okami (W)
  189. Mark Godbeer – UFC 217 (DNF)
  190. Brian Kelleher – UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs Till (W)
  191. Jared Gordon – UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Brunson (W)