Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight bruisers Jan Blachowicz and Devin Clark threw down yesterday (Oct. 21, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 118 inside Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.
The last couple years have been ugly for Blachowicz. He generally looks dangerous in the first round, but afterwards it all falls apart and fight fans suffer as a result. This was a step back in competition for the veteran, but it was also a must-win fight.
As for Clark, he jumped to 205 lbs. after a loss in his Middleweight debut, and the early results have been strong. The wrestler was still early in his professional career, but he was already looking for his third straight UFC victory.
Clark threw a single kick then immediately drove his foe into the fence with a single leg attempt. Blachowicz fought off the shot and reversed his foe into the fence, where the two clinched for a couple minutes.
In the center of the Octagon, the two traded a good amount of kicks. Clark was a bit wild, which saw him eat shots while out of position, but on the whole the exchanges were not too far in Blachowicz’s favor. At one point, Clark did land a big right hand that stunned the Polish striker a bit, but nothing really came of it. Blachowicz answered with a number of nice left kicks to the mid-section.
All in all, it was a rather close round that saw both men absorb some hard shots.
Blachowicz opened the second round with a pair of brutal liver kicks that hurt Clark, but the wrestler fired back immediately. A moment or two later, Clark took a poor shot and found himself vulnerable to the reshot, which landed Blachowicz on top in half guard.
Clark exploded back to his feet at about the midway point, and the pressure was on for him to get back into the round. He charged with a big combination and shot for a takedown, but he left his neck in terrible position. Blachowicz grabbed a rear naked choke despite not really being behind his opponent, but he was still able to lock in the choke.
Clark was forced to submit.
This is a big win for the veteran, who earned the victory in front of his home crowd. It’s the first sign of real improvement from Blachowicz, as he’s also fallen apart after the first round. This time, he arguably lost a reasonably high paced opening round but came back energized, landing big kicks, a takedown, and ultimately the submission.
In this bout, Blachowicz really showed off his left kick. He used it as a fast counter multiple times, and when given the chance, Blachowicz would run into the strike. Those body shots likely slowed Clark down, helping Blachowicz maintain that pace.
If Blachowicz can maintain a pace throughout three rounds, he’s a viable top 15 Light Heavyweight.
As for Clark, this was the most experienced man he has ever fought, and his comparative inexperience showed. He was doing just fine for the most part, but Clark showed moments of near panic in which he simply ran at his opponent with punches flying wildly. He finished one of those flurries with a bad takedown, and it left his neck in a dangerous position.
The bright side is that Clark is still a strong athlete with some skill. He has a lot to work on, but he’s also very young in his professional career. This time, the step up in competition came too early, but Clark will be given another chance after a couple fights opposite fellow up-and-comers.
Last night at UFC Fight Night 118, Jan Blachowicz outlasted and strangled his foe. What’s next for Blachowicz?
For complete UFC Fight Night 118 “Cerrone vs. Till” results and play-by-play, click HERE!