Jan Blachowicz‘s journey again to the UFC title bought off to an odd begin. However the former champ will definitely take it.
Blachowicz defeated Aleksandar Rakic through TKO at 1:11 of the third spherical after Rakic suffered an harm to his proper knee. Blachowicz landed a mix and Rakic took a step again. When he planted his proper, rear leg, the knee appeared to offer out. Rakic went down instantly and referee Mark Smith stepped in to name the bout off.
Earlier within the week, Blachowicz described his want to get again the UFC mild heavyweight title by likening it to the character Gollum from the “Lord of the Rings” films trying to acquire the valuable ring. In a division the place wins should not simple to return by, Blachowicz wasn’t feeling too ashamed about this victory. And he had been performing nicely main into the end.
“He had an harm, it’s what it’s,” Blachowicz stated in his postfight interview. “I can’t wait to step inside once more with this kind of feeling, with this pleasure. And I hope the UFC provides me the subsequent title shot.”
This was Blachowicz’s first combat since dropping the sunshine heavyweight title to Glover Teixeira through second-round submission at UFC 267 final October. Coming in, ESPN had Blachowicz at No. 2 and Rakic at No. 5 on this planet at mild heavyweight.
Blachowicz had a ton of success within the first spherical along with his low leg kicks to Rakic’s left calf. By the tip of the spherical, Rakic had swelling and several other hematomas on that calf. Rakic went for a takedown and bought it within the second spherical, possible due to how compromised his lead leg was changing into.
“That is our secret weapon,” Blachowicz stated. “Within the health club, we at all times kick it. … I knew that he was slowing down, slowing down, slowing down.”
Rakic opened up a minimize on the within of Blachowicz’s left eye within the first spherical with a pleasant jab and did strong work on the bottom within the second. Within the third, Blachowicz was doing nicely on the toes, touchdown a punching mixture — a left hook to the physique and overhand proper to the pinnacle — with success, plus the leg kicks.
Blachowicz (28-9) had a five-fight successful streak snapped by Teixeira final yr. The Polish-born fighter knocked out Dominick Reyes to win the UFC mild heavyweight title at UFC 253 in September 2020 after which defended it efficiently in opposition to middleweight champ Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 in March 2021. Blachowicz, 39, has gained 10 of his previous 12 fights.
Rakic (14-3) was coming off a unanimous resolution win over Thiago Santos at UFC 259 and had gained two straight previous to Saturday. The Austria native of Serbian descent has gained six of eight UFC fights total. Rakic, 30, has been thought of one of many high MMA prospects popping out of Central Europe.