Three months out from his second attempted defence of the undisputed UFC light heavyweight championship, reigning titleholder, Jan Blachowicz has encouraged the surging, Jiri Prochazka to remain active following his second Octagon win earlier this year, urging the promotion to book the Czech Republic native in a title-eliminator against Austrian-born standout, Aleksandar Rakic.
Slated to feature at UFC 266 in September, undisputed light heavyweight gold holder, Blachowicz looks to lodge the second successful title defence of his reign, as he meets with veteran prior title chaser, Glover Teixeira.
Headlining UFC 259 in March, Blachowicz handed current middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya his first professional mixed martial arts defeat in the form of a unanimous decision result. With the win, Blachowicz prevented Adesanya from becoming a two-weight champion held simultaneously.
Clinching the vacant last September in the co-main event of UFC 253, Blachowicz stopped previous title challenger, Dominick Reyes via a brutal second round blooding, stopping the Californian with strikes.
Ahead of his second attempted title knockback, Blachowicz, who has already been linked with his next title clash beyond Teixeira, has called for a title-eliminator between the #2 ranked, Prochazka, and the #3 rated, Rakic to take place to determine the next title challenger after Teixeira.
“I believe I beat Glover (Teixeira) and I defend my belt again, and after that, maybe they’re gonna five me Jiri (Prochazka),” Blachowicz said during a recent interview with James Lynch. “I think he (Prochazka) has to do one more fight against (Aleksandar) Rakic, and then we’re gonna know who’s the next contender for the belt.“
On paper, both Rakic and Prochazka appear to be the next likely challengers for light heavyweight gold, with the former knocking back former title challengers, Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos via unanimous decision — in a run which has seen him lodge 14 victories in his last 15 professional walks.
For former Rizin FF light heavyweight best, Prochazka, the Czech native exploded onto the scene last July on ‘Fight Island’ — stopping one-time title challenger, Volkan Oezdemir with a second round knockout, before headlining opposite the aforenoted, Reyes in May — finishing the Hesperia striker with a highlight-reel spinning elbow knockout.
Another contender Blachowicz is keeping a close on, however, is the #7 rated, Magomed Ankalaev — who most recently secured a unanimous decision win over former Fight Nights Global light heavyweight best, Nikita Krylov.
“People forget about Ankalaev,” Blachowicz explained. “I think he is also in the game and maybe someone from these three fighters is gonna be my next opponent after Glover.“