Jan Blachowicz knows how much is riding on his main event fight against Corey Anderson this weekend in New Mexico.
The winner could be in a prime position to compete for the UFC light heavyweight title against Jon Jones, but there’s even more on the line for Blachowicz.
First off, the 36-year-old Polish veteran needs to wash the taste of a bad performance out of his mouth after winning a lackluster five-round decision against Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza last November.
While getting the victory is what’s most important, Blachowicz makes no excuses for a fight that didn’t exactly thrill the crowd in attendance much less those people watching at home.
“It was boring,” Blachowicz said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Sometimes fights go like this, but it’s important to win fights like this. ‘Jacare’ was really good. He had good tactics for me. I don’t feel with this style I could punch him like I would like to do.
“It was a boring fight, but there’s something inside me that I want to do the next fight so quick because I know I can do better.”
He didn’t waste any time booking his next main event bout against Anderson, who’s currently riding a four-fight win streak including a stunning knockout over highly touted prospect Johnny Walker.
Blachowicz is always happy when the UFC asks him to headline an event. But this fight meant even more to him because it’s a chance at revenge.
Back in 2015, Blachowicz lost a lopsided decision to Anderson in his third UFC appearance. There aren’t many good memories from that performance, and looking back, Blachowicz can’t help but be ultra-critical about his showing that night.“After two minutes of the fight, I was completely exhausted,” Blachowicz said. “He got lucky in this day four years ago. It was my worst shape ever. That’s it.”
While he’s experienced losses in the past, Blachowicz admits this one stuck with him because he has no one to blame but himself for what happened.
Now with five rounds to work and a possible title shot hanging in the balance, he’s determined to make things right.
“I lost a couple of times but I just know that I’m better than Corey,” Blachowicz said. “I’ll show him that I’m better than him and I will do this. I’m really excited, really happy. I’ve never lost a rematch and this is going to be the same.
“My wrestling is much better than when we fought the first time. He’s going to fight a completely different fighter. The pressure is going to be on his side. I cannot wait. I believe and I feel inside me that I got Corey Anderson because I never lose a rematch.”
If he can win — and win impressively — Blachowicz is confident that he’ll be the next person in line to challenge Jones for the title later this year.
After Jones held onto his belt in a razor-close decision this past weekend at UFC 246, he didn’t exactly reveal what his plans were for the remainder of 2020. He had been teasing a potential move to heavyweight, but he also said he had plenty of work left to do in the 205-pound division.
Considering Blachowicz has never faced Jones, he hopes the reigning champion sticks around to give another light heavyweight contender his shot at the belt.
“I would like to be the first guy to beat Jon Jones,” Blachowicz said. “After the Corey fight, I think I’m going to be the next contender for the title.
“I will prove it with Corey Anderson that my next fight will be a title shot. First of all, I focus only on Corey. After that, I think I will have done enough to get the title shot.”