Blachowicz beats Rakic by TKO in UFC main event
Jan Blachowicz was victorious in his first fight since losing the UFC light heavyweight title.
The former champion defeated Aleksandar Rakic via TKO at the 1:11 mark of the third round in the UFC Fight Night main event Saturday in Las Vegas.
It was an unfortunate ending to what had been a competitive matchup through two rounds. Blachowicz landed a leg kick, and Rakic's knee appeared to give out when he stepped backward. Rakic collapsed to the canvas in pain, and referee Mark Smith waved off the fight.
Rakic landed a decent volume of strikes in an entertaining first round, but Blachowicz seemed to have the edge with the more damaging punches and leg kicks. Rakic opened up a cut in the corner of Blachowicz's eye.
In a rather uneventful second stanza, Rakic evened the score by taking Blachowicz to the ground early and landing some ground-and-pound while controlling him. Blachowicz attempted a triangle choke but couldn't lock it in.
With the victory, Blachowicz, 39, bounced back from his submission loss to current champ Glover Teixeira at UFC 267 last October. He's now won six of his last seven bouts.
Blachowicz, ranked No. 1 in the 205-pound division, could be next in line for the winner of the June 11 title match between Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka.
Rakic, meanwhile, saw his two-fight winning streak end. The 30-year-old was 6-1 in the Octagon heading into his second UFC main event Saturday, with that one loss coming via split decision.
- Edwards aiming to 'humble' Usman, win title at UFC 278
- Esparza to defend title vs. Zhang at UFC 281
- UFC 278 predictions: Will it be another rematch win for Usman vs. Edwards?
- Costa unsure of future after UFC 278 as 'outdated' contract expires
- Usman: Potential jump to 205 for title fight about earning respect