Over the weekend in the main event of UFC Vegas 54, we saw a potential title eliminator in the light heavyweight division. Former champion Jan Blachowicz (29-9) was returning for the first time since losing his title when he took on Aleksandar Rakic (14-3).
With the light heavyweight title on the line at UFC 275 next month, the timing couldn’t be better for this main event. It was understood that whoever won this fight would likely be challenging the winner of next month’s title fight.
In the first round, we saw both men focus on their standup. As expected, Rakic tried to stay on the outside while Blachowicz tried to work his way in to use his power. Overall, Blachowicz was more effective and landed some really clean shots throughout the first round.
In the second round, Rakic switched things up and took down the former UFC champion. We saw Blachowicz struggle when Glover Teixeira took him down and it looked like that was part of the game plan for Rakic.
In the third round, both men traded some big shots early. Then, Rakic took an awkward step back and looked like he completely blew out his knee. He crumbled to the mat and Blachowicz was declared the winner at UFC Vegas 54 by injury TKO.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 54?
This was a big win for Jan Blachowicz at UFC Vegas 54. No, the win didn’t come the way he wanted it to, but he looked very solid in the fight. When he lost the title last year, he just didn’t look like the same guy. He looked mentally checked out when he lost the title to Glover Teixeira.
To me, he looked like a guy who had that fire back and that’s what he’s going to need to regain the title. As mentioned above, it’s pretty clear what’s next for Jan Blachowicz. Next month, Glover Teixeira defends his title against top contender Jiri Prochazka.
I’m fully expecting Blachowicz to take on the winner of that fight either in the fall or the winter. The UFC has all but said Blachowicz is next and there’s really not another viable challenger at the moment. The legendary Polish Power will once again get his shot to be the king of the UFC’s light heavyweights.