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Jan Blachowicz picking Thiago Santos at UFC Vegas 13 in hopes of future rematch

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UFC Fight Night: Blachowicz v Santos Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Newly-crowned UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz will be watching closely later tonight (Sat., Nov. 7, 2020) at UFC Vegas 13 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, as veterans Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira battle it out for No. 1 contender rights in the UFC’s 205-pound division.

After Jon Jones vacated his light heavyweight title earlier this year Blachowicz was able to slide into a vacant title fight with Dominick Reyes at UFC 253 and claim the strap with an impressive TKO win. In turn, the Polish veteran is now expected to face UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya early next year in what will be one of the biggest fights of 2021.

Even though Blachowicz is lined up to defend his title for the first time against “Last Stylebender” that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to pay attention to UFC Vegas 13’s main event. After all, the Adesanya fight will eventually come and go and Blachowicz will be left trying to find his next opponent at 205 pounds, whether as a champion or contender on the rebound.

Right now, Blachowicz is leaning more towards Santos to get the job done at UFC Vegas 13 and lock down No. 1 contender rights.

“I think [Thiago Santos is] going to win the fight but we will see,” Blachowicz told MMA Fighting. “Glover, he’s got a second life. He’s in very good shape. It’s 50-50 for me but I think that Thiago will win this fight.”

Blachowicz and Santos are no strangers inside of the Octagon. The two light heavyweights fought back at UFC on ESPN+ 3 in early 2019 with “Marreta” scoring a third-round TKO victory. It is the only UFC loss for Blachowicz over his last nine trips to the cage and one of the better wins on Santos’ accomplished resume.

Needless to say, Blachowicz wants his chance to even the score with Santos and prove he’s the better fighter at 205 pounds.

“We are friends but not inside the octagon,” said Blachowicz. “Inside the octagon, I have a job to do. If he wins against Glover, that would be perfect for me to defend against him, have the rematch against him.

“That would be nice to win a fight against him, defend the belt. Something I would like to do.”

For now, Santos will look to make his first UFC appearance in over 16 months and take out the red-hot Teixeira in the process. If “Marreta” is able to get that done it makes sense for him to fight for the title his next time out, whether that’s a rematch with Blachowicz or a high-tilt showdown with Adesanya.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 13 fight card this weekend RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN+ and ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET.