The Film Room: Jan Blachowicz

By Kevin Wilson Feb 19, 2019
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Former KSW light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz will step inside the Octagon for the 11th time on Saturday, as he takes on Thiago Santos in the UFC Fight Night 145 main event in Prague. Blachowicz and Santos have flown under the radar for most of their careers, but they now have a chance to make serious headway in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s 205-pound weight class.

Blachowicz’s exploits are the subject of this edition of The Film Room.

Blachowicz’s striking is a good mix of knowing when to stay on the outside and when to blitz forward with a combo. He will often spend rounds patiently picking apart opponents with jabs and right hands from the outside and then do a complete 180 and spend rounds rushing forward with combos trying to trap the opponent against the cage. His blitzes can be sloppy and leave him wide open for counters, but being able to change the pace of the fight at a moment’s notice makes him unpredictable on the feet. Something to watch for in his leading attacks is the lead leg body kick. Sometimes he will set it up with a 1-2 with the kick to follow, and sometimes, he will simply run forward with it.

When Blachowicz wants to play it safe, he has a nice jab that he uses on the lead and as a counter. He likes to double up on it to set up his right straight, but he is not opposed to throwing single jabs just to make the opponent uncomfortable. It is made all the more potent by the fact that he uses it on the counter. Instead of planting his feet and looking for a fight-ending counter shot, he will simply pop out a jab to stop opponents in their tracks.

Most of Blachowicz’s counters are intercepted strikes, and he does not look comfortable when fighting off of his back foot; his back-skipping counters are often sloppy and hurried. However, when he can see the strikes coming and quickly land something of his own, he is a decent counterstriker. With that said, if you can rush him and make him uncomfortable, he will drop his defense and leave himself open.

Although he does not do so often, Blachowicz has shown to have good striking against the cage. Against Igor Pokrajac, Blachowicz routinely backed him to the cage and mixed up his combos to the head and body. Since he often rushes forward with long combos, it would be nice to see him work on his cage cutting and trap opponents along the fence instead of letting them circle off and reset the action.

Blachowicz is mainly a striker, but he will shoot for takedowns when opportunities arise. Once the fight hits the ground, he is too patient with ground-and-pound and usually spends his time looking to improve the position. However, he has shown he can hold down opponents for minutes at a time and win a round despite not striking enough.

Blachowicz has been viewed as a striker since joining the UFC. However, early in his career he won most of his fights via submission, and he still has more submission victories in his career than knockouts. Two of his last four wins were by submission, including one of the few standing bulldog chokes in history against Devin Clark. Most expect his fight with Santos to stay on the feet, but it will be interesting to see who has the advantage on the ground if it goes there. Remember, Santos has only had a few fights at light heavyweight and might not be used to grappling with larger men. Advertisement


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