Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz has suffered a loss before, but his latest setback was clearly worse than any other.
“It was a little worse because I lost the belt,” Blachowicz told MMA Junkie with a laugh.
The Polish powerhouse last entered a cage last October, where he was bowled over by fellow veteran Glover Teixeira, suffering a second-round submission to fan favorite Brazil.
Blachowicz later joked that he left his “legendary Polish power” at the hotel that night in Abu Dhabi. As he now reflects on the performance, he admits things weren’t exactly 100% for him before the contest.
“He was a tough opponent, but somehow I wasn’t me,” Blachowicz said. “I don’t want to explain myself, you know, but it wasn’t my night, it wasn’t my day. This fight shouldn’t have happened today, not for me. But you know, I wasn’t champion tonight. Glover was the champion, and that’s it, you know? But this time I will not forget the legendary Polish power in the hotel. I will take it with me and everything will be in the right place again.
Blachowicz (28-9 MMA, 11-6 UFC) begins this journey on March 26, when he takes on top contender Aleksandar Rakic (14-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) in the main event of an event UFC Fight Night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Tickets are currently on sale for the card at Ticketmaster.com.
It’s a key matchup, of course, with Blachowicz still sitting at No. 2 on the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA light heavyweight rankings and Rakic at No. 10. But Blachowicz sees him as both a entertaining contest for fans, as well as a significant moment in his career.
“I’ve watched his fights, so I know how he fights, what his style is: strong, explosive young man – really, really big, so it’s going to be a tough fight. He likes to fight on his feet. Good kickboxer. I also like to fight standing up so I think people are going to enjoy this fight I think they’re going to see a lot of punches and kicks and stuff like that so it’s going to be a really good fight , and I’m really happy.
“Listen – I just want to get into the octagon because this fight gives me answers too, and I want those answers, and that’s it. New adventure for me, new story, first step to recover the belt.
Ideally, Blachowicz said he hoped he would impress enough in the win that he could once again get an immediate shot at the belt.
“You know, it would be the perfect story – a win and the title shot again, but we’ll see,” Blachowicz said. “If the fight is good, you know first or second round knockout, or submission, maybe they give me a title shot, but maybe I’ll get another one. We will see. I’m ready to be the champion again, and it doesn’t matter if I have one or two fights before.
If anyone is fit to bounce back from a disappointing result, it’s Blachowicz. After all, in 2017 he was reeling from a 1-4 streak and looked like a title contender before heading into a 9-1 run that saw him claim the light heavyweight title of the UFC and defend it once before giving it to Teixeira.
Blachowicz admits the loss was emotional but feels ready to return to full fitness.
“When I think about my MMA career, I also have a few wins, lost, a few wins, lost, and always after losing I come back stronger,” Blachowicz said. “This time it will be the same because I have the exact same feeling inside me. You know, everyone sees him in the gym – they see old Jan Blachowicz, who destroys almost everyone.
Photos: Jan Blachowicz over the years
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