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Jan Blachowicz eyes UFC return in March, possibly against Aleksandar Rakic

Jan Blachowicz admittedly had one of the worst performances of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career the night he attempted to defend his Light Heavyweight title against Glover Teixeira at UFC 267 last month. As a result, Teixeira was able to secure a fight-ending rear-naked choke in the second round, taking the Polish bomber’s belt in the process.

The former champion was adamant he simply wasn’t himself that night, and it showed because he wasn’t the aggressive fighter we’ve grown accustomed to seeing inside the Octagon. Dismissing any notion of coming in injured to the title fight, Blachowicz says it was all mental.

“I wasn’t hurt. That was just a bad day. I think I would lose with anybody that night,” he admitted during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “I can’t explain myself. It wasn’t my night. That’s it. I think that’s it. Sometimes I need something like that. I think that I need to lose the fight, I need to take one step back to do two forward.

“I gave the belt [away] for free,” Blachowicz said. “This is the worst for me. But anyways, I’ve still got a couple of years to take it back, and this is my plan,” he added.

Prior to his loss, Blachowicz was on a career resurgence, winning five straight fights including claiming the 205-pound title thanks to a thunderous knockout win over Dominick Reyes before defending it against the current Middleweight king, Israel Adesanya.

Despite having one of the “worst moments of his life” at UFC 267, the Polish bruiser won’t dwell on it too much. In fact, he is already mapping out his assault on the 205-pound division in 2022, suggesting that a potential fight against Aleksandar Rakic could be his next assignment.

“I cannot tell you but I will not fight against Anthony Smith,” Blachowicz said while revealing that the UFC had given him another name. “I don’t choose opponents,” he added before saying “Maybe” when asked if Rakic could be his opponent.

“It’s a good fight. He’s a strong, real fighter. All fighters in the UFC, top 10, top five, they are amazing fighters, and it’s a pleasure for me to fight against all of them. Rakic is good for the next fight but we will see.”

With Jiri Prochazka the front-runner to face Teixeira in his first title defense in 2022, it’s only logical that the promotion book Blachowicz (No. 1) against Rakic (No. 3).