Jan Blachowicz wants to bring gold back to Poland.
It may seem odd to realize that Poland’s favorite fighting son has fought with UFC’s Light Heavyweight title on the line in four of his last five outings. In Sept. 2020, Blachowicz, 40, turned back the clock, defeating Dominick Reyes via a second round technical knockout with punches to claim the vacant strap. He defended once successfully against the Middleweight titlist, Israel Adesanya, and now looks to hand another notable 185-pounder a loss on his way back to championship status.
Blachowicz will welcome recently-dethroned Middleweight kingping, Alex Pereira, to 205 pounds in UFC 291’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event on July 29, 2023, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The promotion’s hope is still to have the current champion, Jamahal Hill, defend against Jiri Prochazka; however, according to Blachowicz, a win gets him a date with whoever is holding the title.
“If I win the fight, my next fight will be for the title,” Blachowicz told The MMA Hour. “It’s bigger motivation for me, and thanks to Alex that he moved to our category — new blood.
“I’d like to know what place I am right now,” he concluded. “It’s very good for me that after this fight, my next fight will be for the title. I’m just happy to take the belt again to Poland.”
The match up can act as a bit of redemption for Blachowicz despite having never fought Pereira. When the Polish slugger lost his title in Oct. 2021, standing in his way was Pereira’s mentor and teammate, Glover Teixeira, who will be in the Brazilian’s corner, aiding him in the bout.
Pereira’s move to Light Heavyweight in mixed martial arts (MMA) felt inevitable after his nine-fight stretch (7-2) at Middleweight. “Poatan” noted upon his announcement of the change that he’s not necessarily done with 185 pounds just yet, but feels this move is best for him right now.
“When I heard that he would come to our division, I just want to fight against him,” Blachowicz said. “I talked with my manager and they did this fight, it was easy. Yeah, I said, ‘OK, give it to me.’ Why not?”
“Maybe [the UFC would have made this fight anyway]. Maybe also there was an idea for them. But I’m happy I got what I wanted.
“He’s a very big guy,” he continued. “I think it was a natural way for him to go up, but maybe in the future, he comes back to do one more fight with Adesanya. We will see. I’m just happy that I can fight against him in my division, so he has to be ready for the legendary Polish power.”
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