Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz plans to place some respect again on his identify by beating prime contender Aleksandar Rakic in Las Vegas this weekend.
The Polish energy puncher has not fought since shedding his 205lb title to Glover Teixeira, who was a heavy underdog heading into their combat at UFC 267 in October 2021.
Blachowicz was purported to combat Rakic when the UFC returned to Ohio in March, however a peculiar and scary damage compelled him out of the bout.
The 39-year-old wakened one morning feeling slightly ache in his neck however figured he had merely slept humorous and determined to crack on with an early coaching session.
“I went to coaching and we did some drills, very gentle drills, and my good friend, he punched me within the head very simple — a really gentle punch — and the left facet of my physique, from my head to the leg, was utterly paralyzed; I didn’t really feel it for one minute,” Blachowicz advised UFC.com.
“I used to be very scared as a result of I by no means felt something like this earlier than, and I feel, ‘That wasn’t dangerous sleep; it’s one thing severe,’” mentioned Blachowicz, who was later recognized with a nerve difficulty in his neck.
Fortunately, the UFC fan favorite responded nicely to a two-week rehabilitation program, averted surgical procedure, and was in a position to shortly rebook his combat with Rakic.
Blachowicz heads into his combat with the Rakic because the underdog and is decided to beat the youthful, taller, brisker fighter and put some respect at UFC Vegas 54.
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“So I present the world once more that I deserve respect as a fighter,” he mentioned when requested about his underdog standing. “I did this earlier than and I’ll do that once more, with pleasure. I don’t care about this. I might be underdog or not. Who cares? Not me.”
After becoming a member of the UFC in 2014, Blachowicz endured a topsy turvy profession within the promotion earlier than discovering his finest type at 205lbs.
The European knockout artist put collectively a three-fight win streak to earn his shot on the Jon Jones vacated within the aftermath of UFC 247 in February 2020.
Blachowicz ran via Dominick Reyes inside two rounds at UFC 253 later that 12 months to develop into the second Polish champ in firm historical past.
All the time the underdog, Blachowicz then picked up a unanimous resolution win over the beforehand unbeaten middleweight king Israel Adesanya when he stepped as much as light-heavyweight in March 2021.