Fortunately for matchmakers, former 205-pound titleholder Jan Blachowicz is battling ex-middleweight kingpin Alex Pereira in the UFC 291 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event on July 29 in Salt Lake City, a bout that could easily be contested for the vacant 205-pound strap.
Blachowicz revealed he was recently in talks regarding the potential title fight; but as of this week, the promotion has yet to change the status of his upcoming contest. That said, it sounds like “Polish Power” will be competing for gold with a victory over Pereira.
“I’ve got this in my contract. If I win, next fight for the title,” Blachowicz told Michael Bisping. “We talk about this, they will change status of this fight, for this moment they not change anything, but we talk about this.”
Jamahal Hill is currently listed as light heavyweight champion but is expected to surrender his title in the coming days. “Sweet Dreams” suffered an Achilles tear while playing basketball during International Fight Week earlier this month in Las Vegas.
Blachowicz respects the decision, but may have tried to keep the belt if roles were reversed.
“Always it’s two sides,” Blachowicz said (transcribed by MMA News). “I’m also man of honor so maybe I will also leave the belt if it’s a situation like this but of course, my manager will tell me don’t do it. Wait, if they will take it then you will give it, don’t give it like a present but I respect what they does because they don’t hold up the division so like we say, show must go on.”
It should be noted that fellow light heavyweight contenders Jiri Prochazka, Magomed Ankalaev, and Aleksandar Rakic are currently unbooked. Whether or not that affects the promotion’s decision to tinker with Blachowicz vs. Pereira remains to be seen.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 291 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+/ABC at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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