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Scouting Report: Jan Blachowicz


Jan Blachowicz

Born: February 24, 1983 (Age: 39) in Cieszyn, Poland
Division: Light Heavyweight
Height: 6’2”
Reach: 78”
Record: 29-9 (12-6 UFC)
Association: WCA Fight Team
Stage of Career: Post-Prime

Summary: Blachowicz is a tough, well-rounded fighter who, thanks to his great intelligence, managed to improve in his mid to late 30s, either by minimizing or masking his flaws. He is an excellent striker and a solid grappler, though the best practitioners in each area can defeat him on their terms. Among his weapons standing are powerful crosses—especially the left—from each hand, an excellent uppercut and strong kicks. In terms of grappling, he has decent takedowns from the clinch, fantastic top control and effective submissions, though he lacks ground-and-pound. He can also be taken down himself and kept there, even succumbing to ground-and-pound or submissions at times. However, Blachowicz is outstanding at implementing his gameplan, as he strikes with the better grapplers and grapples with the better strikers. He is a difficult puzzle to solve, and only opponents who fight smartly can defeat him.

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STRIKING

Stance: Orthodox.
Hand Speed: Average.
Jab: Technically solid and lands with impact, but it lacks speed.
Cross: While his right is more than serviceable, the left can be a game-changer. It is technical, straight, fairly fast and powerful, as shown in his knockout of Dominick Reyes.
Left Hook: Lacks the proper rotation or arc, but it was accurate and powerful enough to knock out a chinny Luke Rockhold while moving backwards.
Overhand Right: Clumsy and telegraphed, but it carries some oomph.
Uppercuts: Excellent from the left side, he can catch wrestlers hunting for takedowns with it, as he did against Patrick Cummins. A sound punch, he often throws it as a lead.
Solitary Striker or Volume Puncher: Throws punches in bunches, normally a series of straights.
Favorite Combination(s): The 1-2, and he can fire it from either stance since.
Leg Kicks: Excellent, as they possess technique, impact and accuracy.
Body Kicks: Offer similar properties to those he throws to the legs.
Head Kicks: Rarely throws them, but they are effective when he does. They lack some speed and flexibility when compared to his kicks to the legs and body.
Chains Kicks to Punches: He excels at this and can chain the kick to the head or body.

Blachowicz is an accomplished striker and has improved in this area late in his career—a rare and impressive accomplishment. He is not flawless, though, and has certain defects that opponents can exploit. One of his main weapons is the ability to throw technical, straight, fast and powerful crosses from either hand, making them difficult to defend. Moreover, Blachowicz throws punches in bunches, usually one cross after another. His left hook is fair and his overhand right is clumsy, but he wields an effective uppercut that works beautifully against wrestlers looking to shoot. His kicks are also stellar, and he can chain them to his punches. There are better strikers than Blachowicz in the UFC at 205 pounds, but not many of them and not by much.

CLINCH

Physical Strength: A powerful man who has matched great grapplers in close quarters, including Rockhold, Cummins, Ronaldo Souza and even Corey Anderson at times.
Technique: Owns a strong grasp of the fundamentals, though he is often a little behind and can be caught off-guard by superior grapplers.
Knees: Rarely throws them, though they are passable weapons when he does.
Elbows: Unleashes more of a forearm shiver than a true elbow, and he uses it after framing an opponent.
Defense Against Knees/Elbows: Can certainly be hit with them when pushed against the cage, as Souza showed.

Blachowicz is strong in the clinch and difficult to take down, even for elite grapplers, though he does absorb some strikes at close range. He is not particularly dangerous there himself, often leading to stalemates. He has occasionally shown a unique forearm shiver that he utilizes to decent effect.

GRAPPLING

Wrestling from a Shot: Not his favorite area in which to grapple. He can counter lazy kicks with takedowns.
Wrestling in the Clinch: He managed to take down Cummins with a double-leg lift from the clinch against the cage. Blachowicz did the same to Anderson in their first meeting.
Takedown Defense: Inconsistent. The best grapplers can exploit him in this area. He was taken down at will by Anderson but managed to deny some of Cummins’ attempts. Meanwhile, Blachowicz completely neutralized Devin Clark but just barely managed to stay upright in clinches with Rockhold and Souza. He was easily taken down by Krylov’s first shot and found himself grounded by Glover Teixeira later in their fight.
Ability to Return to Feet: Misses easy opportunities to wall walk and uses a closed full guard from the bottom. He can use an armbar attempt to return to an upright position.
Submissions: Features plenty of threatening weapons from the top, especially a quick, tight and technical rear-naked choke with which he has ended many fights.
Defense/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from the Bottom: Agile off his back in hunting submissions, but he is also susceptible to ground-and-pound.
Top Control: Leans on heavy pressure and cuts off escape attempts well, making it exceptionally hard for opponents to get back up.
Ground-and-Pound: Basic and sometimes fails to get his body into punches.

Blachowicz’s grappling skills are respectable, but top-shelf grapplers certainly have the potential to best him there. On the flipside, Blachowicz can defeat many lesser competitors in that arena. He has effective takedowns from the clinch and outstanding top control. His ground-and-pound does not offer much concern for opponents, but his submissions, especially the rear-naked choke, are definitely an area of worry for those he faces. His takedown defense is up to par, but some of the best wrestlers in the sport have shown it can be punctured and that Blachowicz can be put on his back. He struggles to return to his feet, and while he is agile with submissions from his back, he is vulnerable to ground-and-pound and being submitted himself.

INTANGIBLES

Athleticism/General Physical Strength: Clearly a powerful man who does not look athletically deficient, even in his late 30s.
Cardio: A mixed bag. He has lost due to badly gassing out, as he did in the Cummins fight, where he was utterly spent at the end of Round 2. However, he has gotten much better at managing his energy. Blachowicz has successfully hone five rounds, though it has meant having to fight at a slower pace.
Chin: He has shown the ability to absorb punishment, but he can be hurt and even knocked out, as was the case against Thiago Santos.
Recuperative Powers: Generally recovers well after being hurt.
Intelligence: Executes outstanding gameplans to beat more talented opponents, most notably against Israel Adesanya. He has managed to improve in his mid to late 30s as his natural physical ability waned. A major overachiever relative to his natural gifts.
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