Former champion Jan Blachowicz returns to the spotlight this Saturday at UFC Fight Night.
Blachowicz will meet Aleksandar Rakic in the main event of a key light heavyweight showdown. The main card airs live on ESPN2 and streams on ESPN+.
The 39-year-old Blachowicz has not fought since losing the title this past October to Glover Teixeira. It is quite obvious that the defeat lingers with him, as he was riding a red-hot win streak going in.
Blachowicz captured the vacant belt in 2020 with a second round finish of Dominick Reyes. From there, officials matched him up with reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya for his first title defense.
For 25 minutes and five rounds, Blachowicz dominated Adesanya, earning his first title defense and showing to the world that he was the best light heavyweight in the UFC.
Shortly there after, though, trouble ensued in Abu Dhabi. Teixeira, a willy veteran and submission specialist, locked in a rear-naked choke and took the title from Blachowicz.
The loss was his first since 2019 when he was stopped by Thiago Santos, ending a five-fight win streak.
Now, Blachowicz gets his shot at redemption in the form of Rakic. The 30-year-old is coming off his biggest win to date, a decision victory vs. Santos.
Rakic has only lost to Volkan Oezdemir via split decision since joining the UFC in 2017. That includes wins over Santos, Anthony Smith and a first round head-kick finish of Jimi Manuwa.
With the division still searching for an identity since Jon Jones left, both Blachowicz and Radic have a big-time chance to seize the day this weekend.