But looking ahead often means reflecting on the past, and in Blachowicz’s case, it’s his title loss to Glover Teixeira.
Blachowicz made his second title defense against Teixeira at UFC 267. To the surprise of many, he looked hesitant to throw strikes early in the bout and was outmatched by Teixeira’s grappling.
After a solid start to round 2, Teixeira got Blachowicz’s back and secured the rear-naked choke for the win. It was regarded as arguably one of the biggest upsets of 2021.
Blachowicz didn’t take a lot of time off after the disappointing loss as he booked a fight with the dangerous contender Rakić. The two will square off in a UFC Fight Night main event on May 14
During an interview with MMA Junkie, Blachowicz spoke about what he feels went wrong with his last Octagon appearance, and what he feels he needs to do to get his hand raised against Rakić.
“He was a tough opponent, but anyway, I wasn’t me,” Blachowicz said. “I don’t want to explain myself, you know, but it wasn’t my night, wasn’t my day. This fight shouldn’t have happened this day, not for me. But you know, I wasn’t champion this night. Glover was the champion, and that’s it, you know? But this time, I will not forget the legendary Polish power in the hotel. I will take it with me, and everything will be in the right place again.”
Rakić has surged into the light heavyweight title picture with back-to-back wins over former title challengers Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith. He’s won 14 of his last 15 bouts overall.
Before losing the belt, Blachowicz successfully defended his title in a super fight with middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. He earned the belt against Dominick Reyes after Jon Jones vacated the title leading up to UFC 253.
While Blachowicz has a tremendous amount of respect for Teixeira, he hopes to get revenge sooner rather than later. An impressive performance against Rakić seems like the best path to do so.
How do you think Jan Blachowicz will do in his return?