LAS VEGAS – Jan Blachowicz thinks he’s in line for a title shot after his win over Aleksandar Rakic at UFC on ESPN 36, which he admits didn’t turn out the way he imagined.
In his first fight since losing the UFC light heavyweight belt to Glover Teixeira in September, Blachowicz (29-9 MMA, 12-6 UFC) scored a third-round TKO over Rakic (14-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in Saturday’s fight. headlining at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The fight ended when Rakic’s knee buckled and he was unable to continue fighting.
“I’m a fighter, I’m a warrior,” Blachowicz told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC on ESPN 36 post-fight news conference. “It’s better when you win by KO, TKO or fair submission. But my body was harder tonight. That’s it. End of story. I was ready for the third, fourth, five rounds. He was not there.”
Blachowicz also did not come out of the fight in ideal health. He suffered a cut directly below his left eye just minutes into the first round and was forced to fight to the bitter end. The Polish boxer said he will need surgery to repair the damage, and it may be a “big” problem.
However, any pain is overshadowed by Blachowicz’s elation. The 39-year-old admits he had some questions about himself after his fairytale run to UFC gold was derailed by a submission loss to Teixeira in which he showed minimal resistance.
Blachowicz said he found the answer he needed, and now he’s even more confident he can make another championship run.
“I was looking for this answer,” Blachowicz said. “This fight gave me this answer that I want: to feel the same as when I fought Glover, when I fight Israel (Adesanya) or Dominick Reyes. I am happy because I enter the Octagon to do the job, to have a great fight, but also to have fun and enjoy myself, and I did it.
With Teixeira set to put the 205-pound title on the line against Jiri Prochazka in the main event of UFC 275 on June 11 in Singapore, Blachowicz said he’s hopeful he’ll get a call to fight the winner.
“I hope the UFC gives me another shot at the title,” Blachowicz said. “I was No. 1. Rakic was No. 3. To me, it was obvious that I am now the No. 1 contender for the title shot.”