A top-5 matchup in the Light-Heavyweight division is now in the works. Jan Blachowicz is targeted to face Aleksandar Rakic in a rematch at UFC 297, which is believed to be going down in Toronto, Canada, on January 20th, per Ariel Helwani.
This bout occurs in the Light-Heavyweight (205 lbs) division.
Jan Blachowicz is ranked #4 at Light-Heavyweight and holds a professional record of 29-10-1 (12-7-1 UFC), with notable wins over Israel Adesanya, Aleksandar Rakic, and Dominick Reyes.
Aleksandar Rakic holds the #5 ranking in the Light-Heavyweight division and claims a professional record of 14-3 (6-2 UFC). He has credible wins over Thiago Santos, Anthony Smith, and Jimi Manuwa.
Official odds have yet to be released.
Jan Blachowicz had a meteoric rise up until late 2021, when he lost the title to Glover Teixeira. Now, the Pole is 1-1-1 in his last three. Following a victory over Rakic in 2022, Blachowicz would fight Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant Light-Heavyweight Championship. The fight would be a tale of two halves, with Blachowicz hurting Ankalaev's leg multiple times across the first three rounds, but would be dominated in rounds 4 and 5, leading to a split draw. In an attempt to bounce back, Blachowicz would face Alex Pereira at UFC 291 but fell victim to the striking prowess of Pereira and the altitude in Salt Lake City, eventually losing a split decision. Blachowiz has his back against the wall heading into this matchup and will need to secure a victory to keep his top-5 ranking in the division.
Aleksandar Rakic is coming off a long layoff following his defeat to Blachowicz. "Rocket" headlined his first UFC event vs. Blachowicz, and the fight was competitive until the unfortunate stopped. The Pole succeeded in the first round on the feet; Rakic would fire back in the second with an early takedown, controlling Blachowicz for the rest of the round. But, early in the third, Rakic stepped back on his leg and tore his ACL, forcing the referee to stop the contest. Now, Rakic looks to come back after a twenty-month layoff and avenge his loss to Blachowicz to continue moving further into the top of the division.
This is excellent matchmaking and a great addition to the UFC 297 card if it gets finalized. As a member of the Verdict Community, let us know your prediction for the fight in the comments below.