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For now, the only thing Curtis Blaydes can do is keep on winning.
He did exactly that at UFC on ESPN 11, landing a whopping 14 takedowns in a five-round verdict over Alexander Volkov in Saturday’s headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. UFC president Dana White wasn’t impressed with Blaydes’ cardio in victory, but it doesn’t matter: The Elevation Fight Team member is still stuck at No. 4 in our latest heavyweight poll behind trilogy rivals Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, and the only man to beat him in the Octagon, Francis Ngannou.
Elsewhere, Josh Emmett and Shane Burgos waged a memorable battle at featherweight in the UFC on ESPN 11 co-main event. Emmett’s victory only allows for the smallest of movement in a deep division, as he climbs from 14 to 13, while Burgos falls from 12 to 14.
There were also some significant women’s matchups on Saturday. Fifth-ranked bantamweight Raquel Pennington maintained the status quo with a decision triumph against No. 12 Marion Reneau, while Lauren Murphy jumped from 12th to 11th by outpointing Roxanne Modafferi, who falls from No. 10 to the spot previously occupied by her opponent. Finally, Tecia Torres halted a four-bout skid with an impressive victory over Brianna Van Buren, which allows her to re-enter the strawweight rankings at No. 11. Van Buren drops from No. 12 to No. 13 in defeat.
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