Jan Blachowicz on top of the world
After successfully defending his UFC light heavyweight title for the first time in the main event of UFC 259, Jan Blachowicz feels as if he’s finally solidified himself as the man to beat at 205 pounds.
Although often counted out by those in the MMA community, the 38-year-old Blachowicz continues to defy the odds.
That was the case last September when he picked apart and stopped Dominick Reyes in just two rounds to win the light heavyweight title left vacant by Jon Jones. And while he once again found himself as an underdog heading into his fight against middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya on Saturday in Las Vegas, the champion was able to earn a unanimous decision victory and hand “The Last Stylebender” his first professional loss.
It’s safe to say that the win was a satisfying one for the Pride of Poland.
“It tastes different,” Blachowicz said at the UFC 259 post-fight press conference (Via MMAFighting). “I proved that I’m a true champion. I don’t know yet. Always, when you win the fight, it’s an amazing feeling. But right now, because I won against someone like Israel, one of the best in the world, [and] now he’s got 20-1, so he’s going to remember me until the end of his life; I’m the first one to defeat him in MMA, it tastes much better. It’s amazing.
“What can I say? I’m just happy,” he said. “I defended my belt. Now I proved that I’m a true champion. Now, I think I’m going to have respect from everybody. In the next fight, I don’t think I’m going to be an underdog. But I don’t care anyway. I could be.”
Speaking of his next fight, it seems as if Blachowicz’s next challenger is already set in stone in the form of veteran Glover Teixeira. A winner of five-straight bouts with four of them ending by way of stoppage, the 41-year-old Teixeira, who came up short against Jones in 2014 in his only UFC title shot to date, is undoubtedly deserving of another crack at the title.
Both UFC President Dana White, who confirmed that Teixeira is next in line, and Blachowicz seem to share that sentiment as well. The Polish champion will need time to recover but expect him and Teixeira to clash later this year.
“If he wants to wait a little bit longer, he’s going to be my next opponent,” Blachowicz said.
Long Island-based sports writer covering MMA, Boxing, and the New York Jets.