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 damage to his proper knee. Blachowicz landed a mixture 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 need to get again the UFC mild heavyweight title by likening it to the character Gollum from the “Lord of the Rings” motion pictures making an attempt to acquire the valuable ring. In a division the place wins will not be simple to come back by, Blachowicz wasn’t feeling too ashamed about this victory. And he had been performing nicely main into the end.
“He had an damage, it’s what it’s,” Blachowicz stated in his postfight interview. “I can not wait to step inside once more with this kind of feeling, with this pleasure. And I hope the UFC provides me the following 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 a number of other hematomas on that calf. Rakic went for a takedown and bought it within the second spherical, doubtless due to how compromised his lead leg was turning into.
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“That is our secret weapon,” Blachowicz stated. “Within the gymnasium, 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 ft, 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 profitable 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 towards 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 general. Rakic, 30, has been thought of one of many prime MMA prospects popping out of Central Europe.