The UFC has something of a problem in the light heavyweight division. Having already picked up wins over the bulk of the current class of top contenders in his division, Jon Jones has been looking to finally make his jump to 265 lbs—and pick up a massive ‘superfight’ payday in the process. The UFC seems to have other plans for Stipe Miocic and the heavyweight title, however, and it’s left ‘Bones’ at something of an impasse with the world’s largest MMA promotion.
And while Jones may be comfortable sitting on the sidelines and waiting for the UFC to make him a deal, that still leaves a whole host of top ranked light heavyweights looking for their path to fame and glory. For now, it looks like that just means they’re going to have find it against one another.
ESPN reports that the UFC is in the final stages of booking a light heavyweight top contender’s bout between former title challenger Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz. Alongside Glover Teixeira’s upcoming fight against Thiago Santos, and Anthony Smith’s fight against Aleksandar Rakic, that puts all the division’s current elite in fight bookings over the next couple months.
Reyes, notably, is fresh off his controversial 5 round decision loss to Jones back in February of this year. It was a fight many felt should have earned the ‘Devastator’ an instant rematch with the champ. Especially considering it was the first loss of his pro career—taking his record to 12-1 (6-1 in the UFC).
For Blachowicz, the former KSW king’s path to contender status in the UFC has been much rockier. After picking up a big debut win over Ilir Latifi, the ‘Prince of Cieszyn’ went 1-4 in his next five UFC fights. However, following a majority decision loss to Patrick Cummins back in 2017, Blachowicz has picked up seven victories in the Octagon, with only one loss. Most recently he avenged a 2015 decision loss to Corey Anderson via an electrifying first round KO.
UFC 253 is set to go down on September 26th, with Dana White suggesting that the promotion may return to Abu Dhabi for the event. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa. Although the bout order has not been finalized, it seems likely that Reyes vs. Blachowicz will feature prominently on the PPV card.