Curtis Blaydes fights his way from South Side to top of UFC

CHICAGO - As Curtis 'Razor' Blaydes cut down Alistair Overeem Saturday at United Center, Curtis Blaydes Sr. couldn't watch.

"If you think about it, that could have been him getting those elbows."

Despite serving as a Chicago Police Officer for the last 21 years, 'Big Curt' doesn't have the stomach for his son's profession. He also didn't understand it when his son took up a sport he'd never heard of.

"It's like a one in a million chance I was thinking."

"Originally, he was trying hard to get me to be a police officer also," explained Blaydes. "I kind of 'forgot' twice to take the police exam."

Plan A was wrestling.

The Bronzeville native won a state championship at De La Salle high school, earning a scholarship to Northern Illinois. After transferring to Harper College, he captured the NJCAA national title.

But, after a transfer to Lindenwood University fell through, Blaydes quit school and discovered mixed martial arts. Soon, finding himself fighting in his first amateur bout.

"I won in pretty cool fashion. It was like a 14-second knockout."

He had only been training for a month at that point. Now, he's the fourth ranked heavyweight in UFC.

After his victory in his hometown, he wants a shot at the title belt.

"In terms of a tiebreaker, my win on paper is better than Volkov's win on Werdum. Not by much, but I deserve it more."

He's already visualized wearing the belt.

"Yeah, I think a lot of guys have."

His dad can, too. He just may not be able to watch it unfold when it happens.

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