Jan Blachowicz says Jiri Prochazka needs to fight Aleksandar Rakic to secure title shot

  • Tom Ward
Jan Blachowicz

UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz has admitted he has been impressed by Jiri Prochazka’s rapid rise up the ranks but believes he needs one more fight before getting a title shot. 

Prochazka (28-3-1), of Brno, Czech Republic, made his UFC debut in July 2020 and has reeled off back-to-back victories inside the Octagon, including a highlight-reel spinning back elbow knockout of Dominick Reyes at UFC on ESPN 23.

The 28-year-old rebounded from the third loss of his career against Muhammad Lawal by stringing together a 12-fight winning streak which includes notable wins over C.B. Dollaway, Fabio Maldonado and Volkan Oezdemir

Former Rizin FF MMA champion Prochazka believes he is deserving of a UFC light heavyweight title shot but says he is willing to take a fight against Aleksandar Rakic in order to prove it. 

“I’ve thought about that and I think I need a little time [to improve my skills]. So I think [six months] would be a great time,” Prochazka told ESPN. “I think I need a little time to upgrade my style a little bit.

“I’m growing from fight to fight, and for an opponent like Blachowicz or Teixeira, I need to take just a little time to upgrade my style and to use new weapons, to be more dangerous, to use more precision, because these mistakes from the fight with Reyes, I can’t do that in the title fight.”

“That’s my plan, that’s my vision. If the UFC, or the president of the UFC, Dana White, say, ‘no, you need to fight [Aleksandar] Rakic first’, okay, let’s do that. But I think I deserve this fight because Dominick was a great opponent.”

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Blachowicz (28-8), 38, of Warsaw, Poland, said he would be open to fighting Prochazka if he can get past Glover Teixeira but he wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility of the UFC booking him another fight before the end of the year — either against Magomed Ankalaev, Rakic, or another highly ranked opponent, although it is currently unknown what plans the promotion have in store for the Polish MMA fighter. 

“I believe I beat Glover and I defend my belt again, and after that, maybe they’re gonna give me Jiri,” Blachowicz said to James Lynch. “I think he has to do one more fight against Rakic, and then we’re gonna know who’s the next contender for the belt.”

“And a lot of people forget about [Magomed] Ankalaev,” he added. “I think he is also in the game and maybe someone from these three fighters is gonna be my next opponent after Glover.”

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