Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
As the ex-light heavyweight champion prepares for his return at UFC Vegas 54, where he faces Aleksandar Rakic in the main event, Blachowicz has his full attention on the fight in front of him. He’s also keeping a close eye on the upcoming UFC 275 main event.
On that night, Teixeira will defend his 205-pound title for the first time against Jiri Prochazka, and Blachowicz is rooting for his former opponent in hopes they’ll rematch down the road.
“I would like to take the belt from Glover,” Blachowicz told MMA Fighting. “So I will keep my fingers crossed for him. I wish him the best in this fight. But I hope so if he defends the belt, he will not retire. He needs to give me the rematch, but I focus about Rakic first.”
At 42, Teixeira is the oldest champion on the UFC roster. But considering the run he’s on, which includes six straight wins and three consecutive finishes, it’s tough to imagine he’s contemplating retirement. That could change at a moment’s notice, though.
As for Prochazka, he’s been a human highlight reel since arriving in the promotion, and Blachowicz would obviously have no problem facing him if that meant getting the belt back. With Blachowicz hailing from Poland and Prochazka from the neighboring Czech Republic, he also knows that would be a huge fight for Europe.
That said, Blachowicz still believes in Teixeira beyond his desire for a rematch, especially if the Brazilian approaches his fight against Prochazka with a grappling heavy game plan in mind.
“Jiri is also a really good fight for me, I think all of Europe would like to see this fight with me against Jiri,” Blachowicz said. “[He has a] crazy style, weird style, but he does everything really good. We will see. I’m curious.
“I think if Glover is going to do exactly what he did to me in the fight, he’s going to win the fight and defend the belt.”
Before he can potentially earn a rematch with Teixeira or face Prochazka with the title on the line, Blachowicz first has to get through Rakic, who enters their fight with two straight wins and a 6-1 overall record in the UFC.
Rakic has an impressive resume, but he hasn’t yet earned the kind of highlight-reel victories that have earned him the kind of hype needed to jump into title contention. Blachowicz will definitely be his toughest test to date.
“I’m curious — he’ll give me some answers after this fight for me personally,” Blachowicz said. “Strong fighter in every part of the fight. Really good grappling, really good wrestling, excellent standup, knockout punching power but this kind of fight motivates me. I like to fight against strong guys. It gives me better motivation going into the fight.
“I know what he’s got for me and I’m going to have an answer for everything he’s got for me. I can’t forget about one thing — I cannot leave the legendary Polish power in the hotel room before the fight. If I don’t forget that, I’m going to win this fight.”
Coming off a disappointing loss to Teixeira in his last outing has Blachowicz fired up to make a statement at UFC Vegas 54 and he’s confident that’s exactly what will happen on Saturday night.
Blachowicz has never considered himself a prolific talker, and he’s not going to try to start now just to make excuses for what went wrong with Teixeira or explain how he’s going to take out his frustrations on Rakic. Instead, he just plans to do what he does best and let that serve notice to the light heavyweight division.
“Of course, I want to show my real power, my real legendary Polish power, but I don’t want to explain myself,” Blachowicz said. “I don’t want to do it. If you see my career, I have a couple of losses before. I think I’m the kind of fighter that I have to lose sometimes because then I have motivation.
“I know what I’m doing and why I’m doing that. I feel bad and then I come to the gym and feel stronger, faster and better. I just think I’m the fighter who sometimes has to lose. To feel that fire again inside of me.”
If all goes well at UFC Vegas 54, Blachowicz expects that to put him right back into title contention to then get either Teixeira or Prochazka for his next fight.
“The end of this year, the beginning of next year for sure [I will fight for the title],” Blachowicz said. “I will be next after Rakic, I will be next. I believe that.”