One of the most feared fighters in the light heavyweight division, Jan Blachowicz makes his return at UFC 291. With the division without a champion yet again, it might be time for Jan to once again make his way to the top. However, facing him is none other than Alex Pereira, fresh off his move up from middleweight.
Previously, Blachowicz claimed the vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 253 after decimating Dominick Reyes. Following that, he made his first title defense against Israel Adesanya. However, Jan would then go on to lose the belt in a disappointing fashion to Glover Teixeira at UFC 267.
Coming into his first fight of the year, Blachowicz has a rather surprising plan against Alex Pereira. Speaking to Michael Bisping, he says, “I will stand in the middle of the cage and punch with him(Alex Pereira). If something goes wrong, then I will start wrestling, but not earlier you know”. Whilst he is the wielder of the ‘Legendary Polish Power‘, Blachowicz mustn’t underestimate the power that Pereira possesses either.
A serial knockout artist in MMA and Kickboxing, Pereira is one of the scariest men on the planet. Moreover, a move up to light heavyweight will only benefit him even more, allowing him to have more power behind his shots. With Blachowicz’s former opponent Glover Teixeira training him as well, the Polish fighter would do well to come in prepared for everything Pereira brings to the table.
Jan Blachowicz vs Alex Pereira will be a #1 contender fight
Whilst Blachowicz hasn’t impressed in his recent outings, a win against Pereira will see him claim the #1 contender spot. As such, the winner would likely go on to face Jiri Prochazka later in the year for the light heavyweight title, which was recently vacated by Jamahal Hill. With the light heavyweight title seemingly being passed around like a ‘hot potato‘, there is a growing belief that the next champion will be at the top longer than his predecessors.
Previously, there were rumors suggesting that Jan and Alex would be fighting for the title itself. However, these rumors have since been quelled, with Blachowicz himself confirming the #1 contender status as the prize. After a disappointing loss to Glover, many have questioned whether Jan is champion material. With a relatively easy win for Glover, many hinted that the Polishman’s time in the division might be up.
Since that performance, fans have not yet experienced anything special from Blachowicz. With his fight against Aleksandar Rakic ending due to an injury to the latter, Blachowicz once again got the opportunity to fight for the title at UFC 282. However, Jan and his opponent Magomed Ankalaev delivered a snooze fest for the ages instead.
With the fight eventually ending in a boring draw, UFC President Dana White declared that the title would remain vacant. Since then, the title has changed hands and once again become vacant. Will Jan grab the opportunity and become champion once again? Only time will tell.