A high-stakes, potential UFC light heavyweight title-eliminator, between the #1 ranked former division champion, Jan Blachowicz, and the #3 ranked surging contender, Aleksandar Rakic is slated to take main event status at a UFC Fight Night event on March 26. — with a location or venue for the showcase yet to be determined by the organization.
Making his first walk since dropping his undisputed light heavyweight crown, Polish veteran, Blachowicz returns for the first time since October where he headlined UFC 267 on ‘Fight Island’ in a second round rear-naked choke loss to Minas Gerais veteran, Glover Teixeira.
Undefeated in his last two Octagon walks, Vienna, Austria-born contender, Rakic returns for the first time since knocking back one-time title challenger, common-foe, Thiago Santos at UFC 259 in March in the form of a forgettable unanimous decision win. Ariel Helwani was first to report the pairing of Blachowicz and Rakic.
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28-9 as a professional, Blachowicz, a former KSW light heavyweight kingpin to boot, suffered the snapping of his impressive five-fight winning spree by Brazilian favorite, Teixeira back in October — as well as dropping his light heavyweight crown.
In his championship coronation, the 38-year-old stopped Dominick Reyes with a massive second round knockout at UFC 253 back in September of last year, before successfully defending his title in the main event of UFC 259 at the beginning of March — handing current middleweight titleholder, Israel Adesanya his sole professional mixed martial arts loss.
As part of his winning spree, Blachowicz also bested the trio of former champions, Luke Rockhold, and Ronaldo Souza, as well as knocking out now Bellator MMA light heavyweight contender, Corey Anderson to avenge a prior career loss.
For the #3 ranked, Rakic, the aforenoted March win over Muay Thai striker, Santos came as his second straight victory, and sixth under the promotion’s banner from seven UFC walks.
Prior to his win over the Brazilian, Rakic had handily out-grappled another one-time title challenger, Anthony Smith en route to a unanimous decision victory at UFC Vegas 8 in August of last year.
In his sole UFC loss, the 29-year-old suffered a close, contentious split decision defeat to Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Fight Night Busan in December 2019, snapping a four-fight Octagon rise which included a spectacular, highlight-reel high-kick knockout win over Jimi Manuwa. The Stockholm win earned Rakic a Performance of the Night bonus.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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