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Aleksander Rakic vs. Jan Blachowicz

Blachowicz breakdown

I have never been a big Blachowicz believer. Not that I didn’t think he was a solid and well-rounded fighter, because I actually think he is, but I never viewed him as champion material. He just never fit the mold for me. I feel like he was a product of a good run and he capitalized on that. I knew that he wouldn’t be a champion that would last very long, nor would he really be a personality that the UFC would ultimately want as their light heavyweight poster boy. 

 

That said, you can’t deny he is a very well-rounded fighter who can give anyone in the division fits. With an overall record of 28-11, Blachowicz has 8 KOs and 9 submissions to his credit. The black belt in BJJ is extremely well versed on the ground and does have some significant power in his hands. I think he has ridden this “polish power is real” thing a bit too far, but nevertheless, he does have some proven sting behind his leather.

After losing the belt to Glover Teixeira fairly easily, he is looking to claw his way back into relevance with a big win here in a main event spot. A win here can be step No. 1 to a new quest for UFC gold. Blachowicz is not the youngest fighter on the roster and will definitely have to make every fight count. At 39, he’s got to contend with a new wave looking to take what he once had.

Rakic breakdown

Alexander Rakic is one of that wave. I’m not too certain what to make of Rakic right now, to be quite honest. I appreciate his athletic ability, his power and his dynamic striking skillset, but what happens if Blachowicz grounds him? The brown belt in BJJ is no fish on the ground, but it is not a power that he is looking to implore if he has anything to say about it. With a 14-2 record, Rakic is almost a decade younger than the former champ. With 9 wins by way of KO and 1 by submission, Rakic has had most of his KOS on the regional scene and most and all of his decisions under the UFC Banner. With a 6-1 record in the UFC, Rakic only lost to Volkan Oezdemir by split decision. He will have 5 rounds to work now, and it will be interesting to see his pace and how he approaches Blachowicz given his ability on the ground. 

 

Fight analysis

Like I said in the past, I like Blachowicz, but he is never going to be that guy. That champion that just adheres to the masses. He is probably one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, but he is a product of a very good run and I always thought that he was fighting with over achievement during that time. He will get his chance to prove me wrong, but I think given the age, the faster and sharper striking, and the chin woes that Jan tends to have shown little by little, I think the opening is there for Rakic to clip his wing. However, like I said, I’m not really sure what to make of Rakic right now. I do think he is very good, but I can see an intelligent vet that has been to the championship grounds, humbling him a bit.

This fight is actually incredibly hard to pick, but I have to go with youth and sting here. Blachowicz had his time and even though it seems like the older dogs are barking as of late, I think he starts to settle in, where I always projected him to be. A very good solid top-10 guy who is a tough out for anyone, but he just doesn’t fit that championship Longevity mode for me. I’ll go Rakic here, but I don’t have a ton of confidence going into this one. 

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The Pick

Rakic by way of KO

Vegas

No bet