Jan Blachowicz can envision an eventual return to the heavyweight division, but the more pressing matter at hand is his first 205-pound title defense.
After Blachowicz claimed the vacant light heavyweight belt with a knockout of Dominick Reyes at UFC 253, he said that March would be an ideal time for him to return n to the Octagon. However, middleweight king Israel Adesanya, the opponent the UFC has targeted next for Blachowicz, wants to fight earlier than that.
Blachowicz isn’t budging on his initial stance.
“I don’t care. I want to fight in March, not earlier,” Blachowicz recently told Submission Radio. “I sent email to the UFC, if they want my next fight, they have to do this in March. March is the perfect month for me. If he wants to fight earlier, it’s not my problem, it’s his problem. I am the champion of 205. So if he will fight against me, my rules, my category — my month is March.”
Blachowicz also reiterated that he would be willing to square off against Glover Teixeira if Adesanya is unwilling to compromise. The 41-year-old Brazilian is currently on a five-bout winning streak after submitting Thiago Santos at UFC on ESPN 17.
“If not Israel, then Glover. He said that March for him is also perfect. If Israel doesn’t want to fight me in March, I think the next one will be Glover,” Blachowicz said.
“Both of them are good fighters. Israel is a champion. Glover deserves this fight. If you watch his last couple fights, he is 41 years old and right now he is in really good shape,” he continued. “He’s got a similar story to me in the UFC. It’s also gonna be a great fight against him. I don’t know. I don’t like to choose my opponent.”
Blachowicz does acknowledge that a matchup with Adesanya has greater marquee value.
“For sure he is bigger name. He’s got more fans than me on Instagram,” Blachowicz said. “People are gonna hear about this fight. If they give me this fight against him, I will be the first one to beat him in MMA. But he will never forget in his life that the first guy to beat him is Jan Blachowicz.”
Speaking of high-profile fights, Blachowicz hasn’t forgotten about Jon Jones, who is expected to make his heavyweight debut at some point in 2021. The 37-year-old Pole has designs on moving up in weight, but he’d like to do some more damage at light heavyweight first. When he does make that transition, he believes that is when he’ll finally come face to face with Jones.
“I would like to stay in 205 a little bit longer,” Blachowicz said. “But it’s also hard because nobody knows what Jon Jones is doing right now. Even the UFC says that they don’t talk with him about his next fight. So, nobody knows what he’s doing.
“But, I believe that I will catch him later in heavyweight. I think two more years at 205 and then I will go to heavyweight.”
For now, Blachowicz can’t worry to much about Jones. Instead, he’ll focus on defending the light heavyweight belt — whether that comes against Adesanya or Teixeira remains to be seen.
“First of all, I have to win against Glover or Israel, and after this fight we can talk about Jon Jones,” Blachowicz said. “I don’t care. I believe I catch him in future somewhere, at 205 or in heavyweight.
“Or maybe I’ll go to Albuquerque and go to his gym and we do sparring on the mat. But I believe that I have to fight against him somewhere, just for myself.”
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