A key clash at 205 lbs appears to have found a new home.
Ariel Helwani reports that former UFC champion Jan Blachowicz and #3 ranked Aleksandar Rakic will headline a Fight Night card at the APEX in Las Vegas on May 14th. This was supposed to be UFC Columbus’ main event this past weekend but Blachowicz withdrew due to injury and the bout was postponed.
Blachowicz (28-9) forged an unlikely path to the light heavyweight title behind a three-fight winning streak against Luke Rockhold, Jacare Souza, and Corey Anderson. He captured the vacant belt with a TKO of Dominick Reyes at UFC 253, successfully defended the title vs. current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, before losing his belt in an upset against Glover Teixeira.
Rakic (14-2) has only experienced defeat under the UFC banner one time, dropping a split decision to Volkan Oezdemir back in 2019. After wowing fans with his first-round stoppages of Devin Clark and Jimi Manuwa, Rakic prevailed against Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos in pretty forgettable decisions. Nevertheless he’s still among light heavyweight’s elite and is looking for the biggest win of his career.
Other matchups lined up for the UFC Vegas 54 show on May 14th include Angela Hill vs. Virna Jandiroba, Ryan Spann vs. Ion Cutelaba, Amanda Ribas vs. Katlyn Chookagian, and Viviane Araujo vs. Andrea Lee.