The light heavyweight match-up between former champ Jan Blachowicz and top 205lb contender Aleksandar Rakic, originally expected to headline UFC Columbus this past weekend, has a new date.
Blachowicz vs. Rakic will now serve as the main event of the UFC Fight Night event on May 14, 2022. The card is expected to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ariel Helwani was first to report the new date on Wednesday. Rakic later confirmed the booking on social media.
For Blachowicz, the fight will be his first since dropping the UFC light heavyweight championship to Glover Teixeira last October. The Polish fighter, a former KSW champion, had defeated Dominick Reyes to claim the vacant title in the wake of Jon Jones relinquishing the belt and exiting the division in 2020.
Blachowicz defended the title once, winning a unanimous decision over middleweight champ Israel Adesanya last year — foiling the attempt by “The Last Stylebender” to become a two-division champion.
Rakic (14-2) has won back-to-back fights over top light heavyweights Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith. The only blemish on his record during his UFC run was a controversial split decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir in 2019.
Overall, Rakic’s biggest foe of late has been activity, or lack thereof — he has fought just once in both of the last two years.
Current champ Glover Teixeira is set to defend his title against Jiri Prochazka atop UFC 275 in Singapore this June. That could leave the winner of Blachowicz vs. Rakic in prime position to claim a shot at the winner.
The UFC’s May 14, 2022 Fight Night event, meanwhile, now consists of the following reported bouts:
- Jan Błachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic
- Viviane Araújo vs. Andrea Lee
- Frank Camacho vs. Manuel Torres
- Daniel Pineda vs. Jamall Emmers
- Angela Hill vs. Virna Jandiroba
- Nick Maximov vs. Andre Petroski
- Davey Grant vs. Louis Smolka
- Ryan Spann vs. Ion Cuțelaba
- Katlyn Chookagian vs. Amanda Ribas
- Jake Hadley vs. Allan Nascimento