Abu Dhabi: American Curtis Blaydes says he intends to make a statement when he takes on Russia’s Shamil Abdurakhimov in the main card at UFC 242 on Saturday.

No. 4-ranked Blaydes hopes that a good performance with help him get a shot at one of the big names in the division.

“Look, there’s a lot of talk about what happens after this fight, which is OK, but I first want to take care of Shamil on Saturday,” he said at UFC Media Day. “I’m going to do what I do best, and that is beat him up.

“After that we’ll see. I level it up to them to decide.”

Guys like Francis Ngannou, Daniel Cormier, Stipe Miocic or even Jon Jones could be a next opponent, but Blaydes refused to get into that discussion.