This weekend, MMA action is back inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a big-time light heavyweight match is set to headline the UFC betting this weekend. Number-one ranked Jan Blachowicz (28-9) faces number-three contender Aleksandar Rakic (14-2) in a marquee bout in the light heavyweight division.
Blachowicz, the former champion, will be the underdog in the UFC odds against the younger Rakic in a bid to reclaim his right to challenge for the title once again.
Fiiiiiiiight weeeeek!@JanBlachowicz vs @rakic_ufc is LIVE and FREE SATURDAY on ESPN2 #UFCVegas54 pic.twitter.com/TZBVdCiA1n
— danawhite (@danawhite) May 9, 2022
The 39-year-old veteran recently lost his title to Glover Teixeira in their championship encounter last October 2021 via a second-round rear-naked choke submission. Before that loss, he successfully defended that title over Israel Adesanya in a champion versus champion showdown in March 2021.
Jan Blachowicz UPSETS Israel Adesanya and hands him his first career loss 🤯#UFC259
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 7, 2021
Jan Blachowicz Recent Fight Results
Jan Blachowicz became the undisputed light heavyweight champion in September 2020 after a second-round TKO victory over Dominick Reyes, as Jon Jones vacated the belt to move up in the heavyweight division.
Besides Adesanya, other notable names that the Polish fighter has defeated were Jared Cannonier (unanimous decision in December 2017), Luke Rockhold (second-round TKO in July 2019), Jacare Souza (split decision in November 2019) and Corey Anderson (first-round knockout in February 2020).
Aleksandar Rakic Recent Fight Results
Meanwhile, Aleksandar Rakic is on a two-fight win streak with wins against Anthony Smith (August 2020) and Thiago Silva (March 2021), both unanimous decision victories.
The Austria-born athlete of Serbian descent only has one UFC loss on his fight record, courtesy of Volkan Oezdemir, who edged him out in a close split decision win in December 2019.
Blachowicz vs. Rakic: Tale of the Tape
With almost identical physical attributes from both fighters, except for Rakic’s five-inch height advantage, expect an equally even bout that will be a banger from start to finish. Their striking accuracy is in similar numbers, with Rakic having 53% and Blachowicz with 50%.
This precise striking from both contenders has allowed them to finish their opponents at a high rate, with nine knockouts for Rakic and eight knockouts for Blachowicz.
However, the grappling department has a massive difference as Blachowicz flexes his 53% over Rakic’s 25% accuracy. This significant disparity is attributed to Jan’s nine submission wins versus Aleksandar’s one.
But despite the gap in grappling, don’t count out the possibility of this high-stakes fight being a banger and stand-up showdown because of the power these two world-class fighters possess.
The recent form and performances can be a deciding factor as to who will be triumphant. Younger by nine years, Rakic seems to be entering his prime years as a fighter by displaying a striking masterclass in his past two fights, while the former titleist may be past his good years now.
My official prediction for this fight is a win for Aleksandar Rakic, either by a unanimous decision or a late stoppage to earn his way into a title shot next.
Blachowicz vs. Rakic Fight Card & Odds:
|Fights & Odds (as of May 10)||Weight Class|
|Jan Blachowicz (+145) vs. Aleksandar Rakic (-175)||Light Heavyweight (205 lbs)|
|Ryan Spann (+170) vs. Ion Cutelaba (-200)||Light Heavyweight (205 lbs)|
|Davey Grant (-300) vs. Louis Smolka (+240)||Bantamweight (135 lbs)|
|Kathlyn Chookagian (-175) vs. Amanda Ribas (+145)||Women’s Flyweight (125 lbs)|
|Frank Camacho (+115) vs. Manuel Torres (-140)||Lightweight (155 lbs)|
|Jake Hadley (-225) vs. Allan Nascimento (+175)||Flyweight (125 lbs)|
|Viviane Araujo (-105) vs. Andrea Lee (-115)||Women’s Flyweight (125 lbs)|
|Michael Johnson (-155) vs. Alan Patrick (+130)||Lightweight (155 lbs)|
|Virna Jandiroba (-165) vs. Angela Hill (+135)||Women’s Strawweight (115 lbs)|
|Tatsuro Taira (-250) vs. Carlos Candelario (+190)||Flyweight (125 lbs)|
|Nick Maximov (-375) vs. Andre Petroski (+280)||Middleweight (185 lbs)|
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