The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us tonight, May 14, 2022, for UFC on ESPN 37, going down live from the Apex Center in Enterprise, Nevada.
Headlining the event is a light-heavyweight bout between former champion, no. 1 ranked Jan Blachowicz (28-9) and no. 3 ranked Aleksandar Rakic (14-2).
Blachowicz is coming off his title-losing effort to Glover Teixeira, making him 9-2 through his last 11, while Rakic is 6-1 thus far into his UFC tenure, only losing a split decision to former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir.
Continue reading to see how this epic light-heavyweight encounter went down:
Official Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Aleksandar Rakic via TKO (injury) at 1:11 of round three
Rakic lands the first effective strike of the fight, a calf kick, which Blachowicz returns beautifully.
Both men land a number of calf kicks to the other throughout the first five minutes.
Rakic is busting Blachowicz’ face up with a jab, and he’s throwing a hard overhand right behind it. He’s landing the jab nearly every time, but the right hand fails to land every time as well.
Blachowicz has some success with his combinations early on, starting with punches to the body and ending either with leg kicks or punches to the head.
Blachowicz is caught getting overeager in the beginning of the second, as he runs runs into a high single leg by Rakic that puts him on his back. The former champion locks up a triangle choke, but is unable to secure it and remains on his back with Rakic in his guard for most of the round.
In the beginning of the third round, Blachowicz goes to throw a combination and Rakic falls to the mat holding his leg. It appears evading those strikes twisted his knee in the wrong way, and he loses the fight via TKO.
Not the way you want to end an event but it is what it is. @JanBlachowicz looked phenomenal in the first round, working the leg kicks early in the fight, and it eventually paid off in the third round as he gets the TKO win. #UFCVegas54 #UFC #MMA
— Fight Global (@FightGlobal_) May 15, 2022
Still, Aleksandar Rakic has a very bright future. This is only his second defeat inside the octagon, and both could be considered by many fans not real losses (split decision & injury).
Jan Blachowicz on the other hand will remain the no. 1 contender in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division, and he’ll most likely be challenging the winner of champion Glover Teixeira versus Jiri Prochazka, going down at UFC 275.
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.