Jan Blachowicz

Poland

Title defense date set
Light HeavyweightUFC
December 30, 2020
Blachowicz is booked to fight Israel Adesanya for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 259 on March 6, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Adesanya is coming off a dominant win over Paulo Costa to retain the middleweight belt back in September, and he'll move up to the light heavyweight division to take on Blachowicz, who holds the belt for that class. Blachowicz packs a power punch but lacks the speed of Adesanya, who is the betting favorite at around (-250).
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Title defense vs. Adesanya on tap
Light HeavyweightUFC
October 31, 2020
President Dana White said Blachowicz will defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Israel Adesanya at a to-be-determined site and date, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Adesanya has been a dominating force at middleweight and will move up to light heavyweight to challenge the new belt holder. Reigning champ Jon Jones vacated the title over the summer, and Blachowicz handled Dominick Reyes at UFC 253 last month to put himself atop the division. UFC figures to nail down the specifics for the matchup in the near future. Once the cage doors do close, Blachowicz will be giving up two inches in both height and reach to Adesanya, despite the fact that it's Adesanya moving up a weight class. Blachowicz has a clear power advantage, but Adesanya's speed should play well up at 205 pounds. The first fighter to defeat Adesanya will be one that can successfully wrestle him, and while Blachowicz hasn't recorded a takedown in his last four fights, it's still a skill he's utilized in the past. Nonetheless, Blachowicz opened as a pretty sizeable underdog of roughly (+225) shortly after this fight was announced.
New UFC Light Heavyweight king
Light HeavyweightUFC
September 26, 2020
Blachowicz won the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship on Saturday, defeating Dominick Reyes via TKO (punches) at 4:36 of Round 2 at UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
It completes a shocking turn of events for a fighter who was closer to being released at one point during his UFC run than ever potentially winning a title. Over the course of a two-year span from April 2015 to 2017, Blachowicz was 1-4. The company would have been well within their rights to cut bait right there, but they gave Blachowicz another shot, and to his credit, he responded. Since then, Blachowicz is 8-1 and he is now a UFC champion. Known as a methodical fighter who lets his opposition dictate the pace of the action, Jan picked up the pace Saturday. He constantly got off first in all the striking exchange between the two men and made a concerted effort to damage Reyes to the body. Blachowicz has always been an excellent counter-puncher, and it was a counter left that wobbled Reyes and led to the sequence that eventually ended the fight. On paper, Blachowicz doesn't have the look of a guy who will be able to hold his championship through multiple title defenses, but no one on the face of the earth could have ever predicted he would have gotten this far. Blachowicz deserves full marks for turning his career around, and he is now the 205-pound king. He'll also go him with an extra $50,000 after earning a Performance of the Night bonus.
Receives title shot against Reyes
Light HeavyweightUFC
August 18, 2020
Blachowicz will fight Dominick Reyes for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 253 on Sept. 26.
ANALYSIS
The 37-year-old made quick work of Corey Anderson in February to secure the No. 1 contender spot for light heavyweight champ Jon Jones, but Jones vacated his title this week for a heavyweight run. Reyes nearly took down Jones during their matchup in February, but a controversial decision fell in the favor of the reigning title holder. Blachowicz has won seven of his last eight fights, with his last loss coming to Thiago Santos in February 2019.
Puts Polish power on display
Light HeavyweightUFC
February 15, 2020
Blachowicz defeated Corey Anderson via KO (punch) at 3:08 of Round 1 at UFC Rio Rancho on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Blachowicz was outwrestled by Anderson in their first matchup, but he never let it get that far in his second opportunity. The two exchanged early but little did Anderson know, Blachowicz was luring him into a trap. With Anderson advancing, Blachowicz landed a vicious right hand that sent him right to the canvas. No follow-up shots were needed, though he did get one extra hammer fist in before the referee was able to intervene. With the win, Blachowicz managed to put himself into a No. 1 contender spot with current champion Jon Jones sitting right in the front row. It wouldn't be too surprising to see Blachowicz get the next title shot as soon as Jones is ready, as Jan took very little damage in this one. In addition to the added notoriety that comes with a prospective title fight, Blachowicz will also take a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus home with him.
Betting underdog Saturday
Light HeavyweightUFC
February 11, 2020
Blachowicz will be approximately a (+170) betting underdog when he takes on Corey Anderson in the main event of UFC Rio Rancho on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
This will be a rematch of a September 2015 matchup where Blachowicz was beaten handily, which at least partially explains why he's such a big betting underdog here despite winning six of his last seven fights. Blachowicz didn't perform well from a fantasy standpoint in that matchup, collecting just 20 signifcant strikes, a takedown and a pass. His opponent registered 84 significant strikes, four takedowns and six passes in that bout. Five years later, however, Blachowicz has built up a sizable amount of momentum and appears to be reinventing himself at the age of 36. While he'll be at a disadvantage in most statistical categories, it would be unwise to count him out as he makes a final push towards the belt. A No. 1 contender spot could very well be on the line here should champion Jon Jones choose to remain in the light heavyweight division.