Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz has confirmed reports that he’s out of the UFC Columbus main event on March 26.
Friday morning, the Polish fighter took to social media to announce that he was dealing with an injury to his neck and spine.
“Unfortunately I will not fight March 26th at #UFCColumbus. I have an injury in my spine around the neck area,” Blachowicz revealed. “That makes it impossible to train with heavy weights. I need to fix that now.”
News of Blachowicz’s withdrawal from the bout had come up Thursday, with MMA Kultura first to report the fight was off. Blachowicz added that he hoped to meet opponent Aleksandar Rakic later in the year — sometime in the first half of 2022.
For Jan Blachowicz (28-9), the match-up was to be his first fight back since losing the UFC light heavyweight title to Glover Teixeira last October. He captured the belt in 2020, defeating Dominick Reyes after Jon Jones vacated the title. Blachowicz defended the belt once, beating middleweight champ Israel Adesanya last March.
Rakic (14-2) was set to enter the bout off two straight wins over Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos. The lone loss on the Austrian’s record was a close split decision against Volkan Oezdemir.
With Blachowicz vs. Rakic falling through, UFC Columbus at the Nationwide Arena on March 26 will be seeking a new main event. Thus far, the following bouts remain on the card:
Askar Askarov vs. Kai Kara-France
Matt Brown vs. Bryan Barberena
Michelle Waterson vs. Amanda Ribas
Nate Landwehr vs. Lerone Murphy
Joanne Wood vs. Alexa Grasso
Tucker Lutz vs. Seung Woo Choi
Sara McMann vs. Karol Rosa
Montel Jackson vs. Danaa Batgerel
Matheus Nicolau vs. David Dvořák
Aliskhab Khizriev vs. Abusupiyan Magomedov