After disappointing loss at UFC 291, what’s next for former champ Jan Blachowicz?

MMA: UFC 291 - Blachowicz vs Pereira
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 291, a light heavyweight title shot was likely up for grabs as two former champions went head-to-head. Former middleweight champion Alex Pereira (8-2) was moving up to 205 to take on former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz (29-10-1).

The big question heading into this fight was going to be whether or not Blachowicz would entertain striking with Alex Pereira. While Blachowicz is known for having his famous Polish Power, Pereira is an elite striker who has not shown a ton of ground skills thus far in his young MMA career.

We got our answer about nine seconds into the fight. Blachowicz shot for a takedown which immediately caused a loud booing reaction from the fans. Blachowicz controlled the first round and ended up getting the back of Pereira. Pereira was able to keep the fight standing in the second round and Blachowicz looked tired.

Blachowicz was getting tee’d off on in the second round and Pereira controlled the striking. The third round saw a lot of back-and-forth striking between the two. Then, with a minute left, Blachowicz landed a takedown. The former light heavyweight champion thought it would be enough to win at UFC 291. However, two of the three judges gave the decision and the win to Alex Pereira.

What’s next after UFC 291?

Jan Blachowicz is still driven to win back his light heavyweight title. However, he’s now 1-2-1 in his last four fights. The one draw could have easily been a loss and likely should’ve been which would’ve made him 1-3. It’s going to take a couple of impressive wins for fans to be clamoring for him to fight for UFC gold again.

In looking at the division, there’s not a ton of great options, but there is one name that sticks out. I think it would be great to see Blachowicz take on Aleksandar Rakic. These two fought last year and ended when Rakic sustained a knee injury. We never saw a true resolution to the fight.

With Rakic returning and the former UFC champion not having a ton of great options, why not have them fight each other once again?