UFC light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz is well aware that Jiri Prochazka is looming large in his rear-view mirror after some impressive recent wins, but he thinks the rising star isn’t quite ready to fight for the title yet.
Instead, Blachowicz, who is preparing to defend his belt against Glover Teixeira at UFC 266 in September, is proposing that Prochazka fight Aleksander Rakic next to establish a definitive No.1 contender.
“I believe I beat Glover and I defend my belt again, and after that, maybe they’re gonna give me Jiri,” Blachowicz told 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.”
Prochazka entered the UFC last year with a formidable record of having all but one of his 26 career wins inside the distance, with 25 having come by way of strikes, and he’s continued that trend in the Octagon with back-to-back KO wins against former title contenders Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes.
That being said, Rakic has gone 6-1 during his UFC run to date and is coming off decision victories against Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos, and is also known to be chasing a fight against Prochazka.
Meanwhile, Blachowicz has also thrown one more name into the hat – that of Magomed Ankalaev, who is a bit further down the rankings at No.7, but has compiled a six-fight unbeaten run in the UFC over the past three years.
“People forget about Ankalaev,” Blachowicz said. “I think he is also in the game and maybe someone from these three fighters is gonna be my next opponent after Glover.”