Blachowicz’s career has often been a tale of resurgence and beating the odds. Having had a veteran complete his journey at the Pole’s expense in October, the 38-year-old will have to dig deep and bounce back from a setback once again.
In 2017, a defeat to Patrick Cummins meant Blachowicz was 1-4 in his previous five fights and on the brink of being released from the UFC. From there, the Cieszyn native defeated the likes of Jared Cannonier, Jimi Manuwa, Luke Rockhold, and Corey Anderson on his way to a title shot. There, he defied the odds and finished Dominick Reyes to experience a heart-warming championship crowning.
Having defended the gold at UFC 259 earlier this year by becoming the first man to defeat middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya, Blachowicz faced his first challenge from the 205-pound roster in the form of 42-year-old light heavyweight mainstay Teixeira. Joining Randy Couture in the post-40 champions’ club, the Brazilian submitted Blachowicz in the second round in Abu Dhabi.
It Wasn’t Blachowicz’s Night
Given his run since a 2019 defeat to Thiago Santos, Blachowicz’s performance came as a surprise. Dominated in all realms, the Polish powerhouse was outclassed on the night. Now, in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, the former champ has discussed what went wrong on Fight Island.
In simple terms, Blachowicz admitted that nothing went right on October 30. Despite that, he won’t wallow in self-pity and believes he has what it takes to bounce back in 2022.
“Everything goes wrong, you know. I shouldn’t fight that night. But what can I do? I can just, you know, (go) back to the training, back to the gym, train harder, and try to get that belt back, you know. And that’s it. I’m not gonna be sad, I’m not gonna be thinking about the fight because I don’t want to worsen my life about something like this. I think about the fight, why it goes wrong, but I don’t waste time to be sad. I will not hide under the bed and cry.”
Despite not going into detail on why he doesn’t think he should have fought, Blachowicz did suggest it was bad enough day for him that he’d have fallen to defeat against anybody.
“I wasn’t hurt, that was just bad day for me. I will, I think, I will lose with anybody that night, you know. I don’t want to explain myself. It wasn’t my night, that’s it. But sometimes I need something like this. Sometimes I think that I need to lose the fight; I need to do one step back to do two forward, you know. When you look to my career, always be like this. So I believe this time I learned something from this fight and I’m gonna be a better fighter. Same like Thiago Santos and different opponents who beat me.”
It appears Blachowicz won’t have to wait long for his chance to rebound. Having suggested he’d be open to facing Aleksandar Rakić in March, Ariel Helwani recently reported that the bout is being targeted for the March 26 event.
With the Austrian ranked at #3, it stands to reason a victory over the former champ will book his place opposite the winner of the likely next title fight between Teixeira and Jiří Procházka in late 2022. Blachowicz will be looking to spoil those plans for “Rocket” by securing his chance for redemption.
Do you think Jan Blachowicz can regain the light heavyweight title?