Curtis Blaydes only trained with Alistair Overeem for a month during his camp to prepare for Junior dos Santos, but he says the heavyweight has been a big help.
"That’s probably the biggest thing, (Overeem's) been giving me a lot of inside information," Blaydes told theScore. "Things that he remembers from (his fight against Dos Santos in 2015), things that he’s just picked up over the years that he thinks I’ll be able to implement. I’m very grateful and I look forward to trying out some of the things I’ve been working on."
Overeem knocked out Dos Santos at UFC on FOX 17, which was part of his four-fight win streak that earned him a heavyweight title shot in August 2016.
Blaydes (12-2) will face Dos Santos in the main event of UFC Raleigh this Saturday while looking for the seventh win in his last eight fights. The 28-year-old believes his superior wrestling will lead to a TKO finish.
"How many heavyweight fights go five rounds?" Blaydes asked. "I envision myself getting the takedowns I need, tiring him out, being able to implement my ground and pound and getting the TKO."
The Illinois native thinks he'll earn a heavyweight title shot at some point this year.
"I plan on getting a title shot. Even if (the UFC doesn't) give it to me after this one," he said. "I could see a situation where I beat Junior, (Francis) Ngannou beats (Jairzinho) Rozenstruik, (Ngannou) gets the next shot at Stipe Miocic, (and I'll fight the winner)."