Streaking light heavyweight contender Jan Blachowicz is looking to cash in on his biggest Octagon opportunity to date later this evening (Sat., Feb. 15, 2020) at UFC Fight Night 167 live on ESPN+ from inside Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as he takes on Corey Anderson in the main event.
Blachowicz, 36, has turned his UFC career around after winning just two of his first six Octagon appaearances, which included a unanimous decision loss to Anderson at UFC 191. Since late 2017, the Polish veteran has scored an impressive 6-1 record, including a recent knockout win over former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
Entering his main event rematch with Anderson, Blachowicz is preparing himself for all possibilities and eager to put a decisive stamp on his recent success.
“I’m ready for anything he might try against me. We fought five years ago, it’s a completely different fight now. After two minutes, I was completely exhausted," Blachowicz told Combate. "I know what went wrong in my body. It was over-training, I don’t know how I survived three rounds. I feel well now, nothing has happened. I’ve been in Rio Rancho for the past two weeks, so there’s no jet lag. This time I will knock him out.”
Anderson, who is coming off a memorable knockout win over Johnny Walker at UFC 244, has won his last four Octagon bouts and subsequently positioned himself on the doorstep of a title shot here in 2020. Anderson has been finished twice via knockout throughout his UFC career, but has looked like a completely different fighter his last few outings.
It will be up to Blachowicz to wade through the early pressure, bypass the elite wrestling of Anderson, and find the window of opportunity he's looking for.
“I think I’ll win in the second round, but I’m ready for all five rounds," said Blachowicz. "I think I’ll knock him out with a right uppercut, or something worse. I have something in store for him. Corey is a boxer, but he is no good on the ground. He can grapple, but I’m prepared. I think he’ll try to take me down after three or four minutes. I’m ready for anything, punches, kicks. Maybe I’ll take him down.”
If Blachowicz is able to dispatch Anderson early and lock down his third-straight win since last July he'll likely score a title shot against current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, unless the promotion is going to give Dominick Reyes his rematch.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 167 fight card on Saturday, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.