In his first bout since losing the UFC light heavyweight championship Jan Blachowicz is hoping to make a big statement against Aleksandar Rakic later tonight (Sat., May 14, 2022) at UFC Vegas 54 live on ESPN2/ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Blachowicz, who is entering his fifth UFC main event, ended up losing his 205-pound belt to Glover Teixeira at UFC 267 back in Oct. 2021. It was a bit of an upset seeing as Blachowicz was coming off title fight wins over Israel Adesanya and Dominick Reyes, but Teixeira ended up using his wrestling to subdue the Polish champion and submit him in the second round. The loss ended a five-fight win streak for Blachowicz.
Luckily, Blachowicz will have a chance to redeem himself later tonight in a matchup with Rakic. While Rakic is still relatively unknown to casual UFC fans the surging contender has produced a 6-1 record since making his Octagon debut back in 2017. He’s a dangerous fight for anyone in the division, especially for a former champion coming off a disappointing title loss.
Given Blachowicz’s track record in the division and relative lack of depth atop the 205-pound pack he’s hoping that a win over Rakic will earn him another shot at the belt.
“I hope so, for me it’s the right way [to get a title shot],” said Blachowicz during a recent episode of UFC Unfiltered. “I’m number one, Rakic is number three, so who else? Me or him? Of course, me, is going to be next for the title fight. For the winner of [Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prochazka]. I think my style and Rakic’s it’s not going to be boring and close fight. It’s going to be a very tough, and short fight.”
If Blachowicz is able to make quick work of Rakic it could give him enough firepower to challenge for the title next. Teixeira is expected to defend the UFC light heavyweight championship against Jiri Prochazka at UFC 275 next month. It would make sense for Blachowicz to get the winner if he’s victorious over “Rocket.”
As for the upcoming matchup between Teixeira and Prochazka, Blachowicz believes that either fighter can win. But if the former champion had to pick someone it would be Teixeira due to his overwhelming presence on the ground.
“I’m excited, I’m a fan of the sport, so I am excited. For me, it’s 50-50. If Glover takes him down, he will win the fight for sure. But Jiri is a crazy fighter, in a good way. You don’t know what he’s going to do, but it’s good for him and it’s working very good. We will see. If Glover fights strong like he did with me, he will defend the belt.”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 54 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN2/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (on ESPN2/ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET.
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