A fight between No. 1 and No. 3 in the light heavyweight division is reportedly in the works for next year.
Jan Blachowicz returns and meets Aleksandar Rakic in the headliner of an upcoming UFC Fight Night set for March. The news was first reported by Ariel Helwani and then later confirmed by Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie. Rakic has also hinted at a contract signing for a fight on social media. A location and venue for the event on March 26 have not been determined yet.
Blachowicz was in action this past October at UFC 267, where he lost the light heavyweight championship after being subbed by Glover Teixeira via second-round rear-naked choke. The 38-year-old was previously on a five-fight win streak that included ‘Performance of the Night’ awarded finishes over Luke Rockhold, Corey Anderson and Dominick Reyes, the latter of which saw him capture the then-vacant title. Blachowicz went on to record his first and only successful title defense with a unanimous decision over current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 back in March.
Rakic has wins over former title challengers in Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos in back-to-back outings at UFC Vegas 8 and UFC 259. Those decision wins came after Rakic suffered the lone loss of his UFC career thus far, which was a split decision to Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs. The Korean Zombie. The 29-year-old recently called for a No. 1 contender fight against Jiri Prochazka, but with ‘Denisa’ likely being next in line for the newly crowned Teixeira, it appears as though that potential booking may have to wait.
Blachowicz vs. Rakic is just the second fight added to the lineup for the event. It joins a women’s bantamweight clash between Sara McMann and Karol Rosa. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more updates as they become available in the coming weeks.