Jan Blachowicz, UFC 267 preview

Jan Blachowicz’s preparation camp woes to regain the title

Jan Blachowicz’s preparations for his UFC light heavyweight title battle against Aleksandar Rakic were not the most ideal, yet he still managed to reclaim the title under unusual circumstances.

Blachowicz claims that the week leading up to the bout was horrible for him.

“This camp was very hard for me, a lot of things happened to me,” said Jan after he was crowned the winner. “I had one week that was like, first of all, they stole my car. After that I have diarrhoea, I cannot train for three days. When I come back to training, in a sparring session, my sparring partner cut my eye.”

An eye injury received during the first round of Jan Blachowicz’s win over Aleksandar Rakic rendered him blind.

Against Rakic, who was ranked just two places behind him in third, the Polish star was seeking to secure his position as the top light-heavyweight contender. Blachowicz obtained the crucial third-round stoppage when his opponent suffered a severe-looking knee injury that rendered him unable to continue.

Following a back-and-forth fight through the first two rounds, Aleksandar Rakic’s knee gave out during an exchange in the third round, causing the Austrian fighter to collapse to the mat clutching his leg in agony. Blachowicz was awarded the TKO victory after the fight was stopped.

While not ideal, Blachowicz is pleased with his performance because he was already inflicting significant damage on Rakic even before the call.

The calf kicks thrown by Blachowicz had caused significant swelling on Rakic’s lead leg by the start of the third round.

Given the weight Rakic was forced to put on his other leg to compensate for the calf kicks, it is possible that the tactic played a role in the way his knee gave out, though Blachowicz won’t be taking credit for it.

“This is a question for him,” said Blachowicz. “Maybe he just feel the fight, this is a question for him. I just wish him a very quick recovery back to the feet and back to the gym how fast he can.”

Blachowicz, on his part, did not get out unscathed after being clipped during an early exchange, resulting in a nasty cut under his left eye.

The former light heavyweight champion revealed that he will require surgery to repair the damage, though he won’t know the extent of his injuries until a full examination on Monday.

Regardless of how the win transpired, Blachowicz has now established himself as the top-ranked challenger in the 205-pound division with expectations that he’ll now earn the right to fight either Glover Teixeira or Jiri Prochazka once they face in the UFC 275 main event.

Teixeira had previously sent out a message to Blachowicz before his fight on Saturday night that he would gladly grant him a rematch provided he gets through Prochazka on June 11.

With his win against Rakic, Blachowicz clearly enjoyed hearing that from the incumbent UFC champion as he aims to reclaim the title he lost while also rediscovering his passion for the sport.

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