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UFC 191: Johnson vs. Dodson 2 - Idiot's Guide Preview to Jan Blachowicz vs Corey Anderson

David Castillo breaks down the three things you need to know about the LHW non-PPV bout of the evening this weekend in Vegas for UFC 191.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The worst fight on the card on paper hopes to rise above its underwhelming roots this September 5, 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Match Up

Light Heavyweight Jan Błachowicz 18-4 vs. Corey Anderson 5-1

The Odds

Light Heavyweight Jan Błachowicz -150 vs. Corey Anderson +130

3 Things You Should Know

1. Jan is a good fighter with a decent career ahead of him despite his age.

Phil and I agreed last time out: Blachowicz is good, with a specific rhythm that will offset the chance to wash out. Jan predictably lost his last outing to Jimi Manuwa, but it was always a little too soon despite bursting out the gate with a great TKO win over Ilir Latifi. The KSW veteran from Poland gets the match he should have debuted to.

2. Corey Anderson has more to offer than his TUF expeditions would lead you to believe.

Anderson has a pretty solid background, with his NCAA Division III wrestling pedigree, and time spent at the Renzo Gracie Combat Team to sharpen his overall grappling.

You probably wouldn't know this from the show. Against Kelly Anundson he found himself getting mounted, and countered despite dominating the fight. While it's telling when it comes to measuring Anderson's skill, it also reveals just how problematic it is trying to judge a fighter off their TUF bouts where they're often fighting out of their weight class, spend very little quality time with singular training*, and rarely get matched up with fighters that can make them look good. It remains to be seen just what Anderson's potential is.

3. This is a tough fight for both men, stylistically.

Anderson obviously has some talents. He's slow when it comes to takedowns, which makes you wonder how he established himself on the wrestling mats, but once he's clinched up, you see the technique take over. He loves to strike, however.

Against Gian Villante, the end result of his limitations were on display; we got the Texas two step stumble into the cage after a very sloppy left hook. And he's pretty bad at measuring distance. But he has good raw power, and throws in combination with conviction.

Most of this sounds ideal for Blachowicz, who at least wears the mask of a specialist. While Blachowicz is limited himself, he has a sharp left hand he throws from multiple stances. It's the kind of slicing shot that can catch almost anyone, as he whips it effortlessly from a variety of angles. He's very good at chambering his kicks in deliberate fashion.

Blachowicz restricts himself from throwing too many strikes, which could definitely turn into a problem against Anderson. if Corey can stay active, grind with takedowns, and strike while Blachowicz pedals backward, it could actually be his fight to lose. Given Anderson's age, and brief number of bouts, he's a great bet if just for the fact that he's still growing, and improving.

Still, this feels like a little too much, too soon for Anderson who would be better off fighting some wild brawler rather than a cold counter-ish striker.


Jan Blachowicz by Split Decision.

*I get that impression that the majority of TUF fighter's training is just a witness session to the reptilian brains of the coaches battling over ego and Dana's blackjack money.