UFC: Reyes vs. Blachowicz Targeted for September 26

Dominick Reyes
Dominick Reyes Credit: Gabriel Gonazalez/Cageside Press

A fight between top light heavyweight contenders Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz is being targeted for UFC 253 on September 26.

Per Brett Okamoto of ESPN, a fight between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz is being targeted for UFC 253 on September 26.  According to Okamoto, the UFC is in contact with current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to determine his next move, and that will impact whether or not any sort of title will be attached to the Reyes versus Blachowicz bout.

Dominick Reyes is coming off a close split-decision loss to Jones in February in which many felt he had done enough to earn the nod and dethrone the longtime light-heavyweight kingpin.  Since then, Reyes has campaigned for a rematch with UFC President Dana White also supporting the idea.  Leading up to the fight, Reyes had been undefeated with victories over Jared Cannonier, Ovince Saint Preux, Volkan Oezdemir, and former middleweight champion Chris Weidman.  Notably, Reyes recently posted on Instagram that he had just signed a new contract, although the specifics of the deal are unknown.

Jan Blachowicz has been a dark horse in the light heavyweight title picture in recent years after having a slow start in the Octagon.  After opening his UFC career by going 1-4, he turned the corner in 2017 where he went on a 7-1 run with his only loss coming to Thiago Santos in a title eliminator.  Poland’s Blachowicz is currently on an impressive three fight win streak with stoppages of former champion Luke Rockhold and Corey Anderson as well as a victory over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.  The win over Anderson in February was notable as Blachowicz had earned it in Jones’ hometown of Albuquerque and the light-heavyweight champion was in attendance.

Jon Jones has recently said that he is targeting a move up to the heavyweight division and is seeking an increase in pay, even going as far as to say he would sit out until he feels that he has been properly compensated.  With top contender Francis Ngannou seemingly locked in for a rematch against current champion Stipe Miocic, it is expected that Jones is deciding whether or not to take another bout over possibly waiting for a shot at the winner.  Should he decide to take his next fight at heavyweight, there is a possibility that he vacates the light heavyweight title.  Whether or not an interim title is attached to Reyes vs Blachowicz will likely be determined by the schedule and likelihood of Jones moving up in weight sometime in 2021.

UFC 253 on September 26 is set to be headlined by middleweight champion Israel Adesanya against Paulo Costa.