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My body is tougher: Jan Blachowicz reacts to Rakic’s knee injury at UFC Vegas 54

Jan Blachowicz calls for a title shot after beating Aleksandar Rakic by TKO (injury).

Jan Blachowicz got his hand raised this weekend after the main event of UFC Vegas 54. However, the victory didn’t come how the former champion would have preferred. He scored the win after his opponent, Aleksandar Rakic, went down with what appeared to be an ACL injury.

During the post-fight press conference Blachowicz said he would have liked to finish the fight on his own, but that the way it ended doesn’t mean he’s any less of a deserved winner.

“It’s better when you win by TKO, KO, submission, clean,” Blachowicz said (ht MMA Fighting). “But my body was tougher tonight, that’s it. End of story. I was ready for third, fourth, five rounds — he was not.

“I see that his chin was much bigger and he was slowing down and he was changing positions. So I knew that he was starting to feel the kicks. That was one of my game plans. I wanted to kick these legs because his position is very low and he has long legs and it’s hard when you’ve got low position to block it. I want to focus him on my hands and kicks, to make him slow down — he also has power in his legs, so I want to take it away. I think that was working very good.”

Blachowicz went on to wish Rakic a speedy recovery. The Pole also stated that he believes this win should earn him the next light heavyweight title shot, whether that be against current champ Glover Teixeira or his upcoming challenger Jiri Prochazka.

“I hope so that the UFC gives me another title shot. That I’m the next one. I was No. 1, Rakic was No. 3 — for me, it’s obvious that I’m the No. 1 contender now for the title shot.”

Blachowicz joined the UFC in 2014 and had an inconsistent run in the company before finding his stride in 2019.

Wins over Luke Rockhold, Jacare Souza and Corey Anderson secured him a shot at the vacant UFC light heavyweight title in 2020. He won that fight, against Dominick Reyes, to become the first 205 lb champion not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier since March, 2011.

Blachowicz defended his title against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at last year’s UFC 259. A few months later, at UFC 267, he lost the belt to Glover Teixeira.