Multiple sources have now confirmed that Jan Blachowicz will indeed be fighting Aleksandar Rakic on Saturday, March 26.
[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 30, 2021, 10:00 AM]
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz has identified when he plans on returning to the Octagon and has his sights set on another top contender.
Blachowicz’s reign at the top of the 205-pound mountain came to a crashing halt at UFC 267 in October. Having won the vacant title in memorable fashion against Dominick Reyes, and successfully defended it once by handing middleweight king Israel Adesanya his first loss in MMA, the Polish star faced the test of Glover Teixeira in Abu Dhabi.
At 42 years of age, it was the Brazilian’s final chance to have UFC gold wrapped around his waist. With a second-round rear-naked choke, Teixeira dethroned Blachowicz and did exactly that.
Blachowicz Begins The Road To Redemption In 2022
Given his prior form, which had seen him build a five-fight winning streak that dated back to a loss against Thiago Santos in 2019, many had expected Blachowicz to send Teixeira into retirement and move onto a European clash with Jiří Procházka. Having seen those plans collapse, the 38-year-old will be looking to rebound back to the belt in 2022.
During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Blachowicz discussed his plans for next year, revealing he intends on returning to the Octagon in the year’s first quarter.
“In March will be perfect for me. Now we’ve got holidays, new year, and after that start to train hard, very hard, and back in March, end of March.”
Despite reiterating that he doesn’t choose his opponents, Blachowicz confirmed that his next appearance will certainly not be against former title challenger Anthony “Lionheart” Smith.
“I cannot tell you (who I’m fighting next). I cannot tell you but I will not fight against Anthony Smith… I don’t know (why not). I don’t choose opponents… UFC never asked me about Anthony Smith.”
He did, however, have a different response when #3-ranked contender Aleksandar Rakić was brought up. After hinting that the UFC has mentioned the Austrian as a potential foe for 2022, Blachowicz suggested he’d like to face “Rocket” next.
“Maybe [LAUGHS]. Yeah, it’s good fight, you know. He’s good, he’s strong, you know, young fighter. All fighters in the UFC, top 10, top five, you know, they are amazing fighters and (it’s a) pleasure for me to fight against all of them. Rakić is good for the next fight, but we will see.”
How do you think a fight between Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakić would play out?