Jan Blachowicz on fighting former middleweight champions moving up to light heavyweight – “Maybe this is my job… to send them back”

10 months ago By Sports Desk

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz is happy to play the gatekeeper of the division. 

Blachowicz is all set to welcome former middleweight champion Alex Pereira to the light heavyweight division at UFC 291 this weekend. This bout will mark the third time the 40-year-old fights someone who moved up from the middleweight division. 

Prior to this, Jan Blachowicz handed middleweight king Israel Adesanya his first MMA loss during his bid to become a two-division champion at UFC 259. He also defeated Luke Rockhold in his light heavyweight debut at UFC 239. 

Having faced multiple middleweights attempting to move up to the light heavyweight division, Jan Blachowicz has earned a reputation for gatekeeping the 205-pound division from the middleweight hopefuls. 

 At the UFC 291 media day, Blachowicz was asked why the UFC always seems to book him to welcome middleweights. He replied:

“I don’t know. Maybe this is my job, you know, in UFC to send them back to the lower division. I don’t know. I’m okay with that.” 

Catch Blachowicz’s comments here (2:55):

Jan Blachowicz last fought Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282 in December 2022. The fight for the vacant title ended in a highly controversial split draw. 

Jan Blachowicz eyeing a title shot against Jiri Prochazka after Alex Pereira fight at UFC 291 

Jan Blachowicz is already looking beyond his fight against Alex Pereira this weekend. The Polish fighter recently opened up about a potential title shot in the future and revealed that the UFC refused to make his fight against ‘Poatan’ a championship fight. 

The light heavyweight division is a rollercoaster. Last year, after former champion Jiri Prochazka was forced to vacate the title due to a nasty shoulder injury, a series of events led to Jamahal Hill capturing the 205-pound strap against Glover Teixeira at UFC 283. Unfortunately, ‘Sweet Dreams’ was also recently forced to vacate his title due to suffering a long-term injury. 

While many expected the UFC to turn the Blachowicz vs. Pereira matchup into a title fight, the organization had other plans. Jan Blachowicz recently claimed he expects to challenge for the title with a win this weekend. At the UFC 291 media day, he said:

UFC told me that after this fight, next fight is for the title so nothing’s changed. Jamahal Hill left the belt. I wish him very fast recovery, but my next opponent will be, I don’t know, maybe Prochazka and we’re going to fight for a title so we will see, but now, I focus on the opponent Saturday. We’ll think about that after the fight we can talk about the next step.”

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