UFC Rio Rancho went down this weekend with a light-heavyweight title eliminator in the main event. Jan Blachowicz took on Corey Anderson knowing that the winner would probably get a clash with Jon Jones.
Anderson had a massive chip on his shoulder and a deep dislike for Jones. He wanted that title fight so badly but his dreams were crushed by former KSW champion Blachowicz. The Polish kickboxer put his lights out in style. The pair had fought before with Anderson using his wrestling to win a dominant decision.
Now Blachowicz is in the driving seat to fight for the belt. Only time will tell if he gets the shot, but it’s very likely. Check out the brutal finish below.
— MMA India (@MMAIndiaShow) February 16, 2020
This was a short fight. Anderson was the favorite coming into this one after a savage knockout win over Johnny Walker. Blachowicz’s last appearance was a decision victory over Jacare Souza. The Pole has excellent kickboxing fundamentals and great takedown defense. Anderson looked for the takedown a couple of times but couldn’t find an opening.
It was a kickboxing fight for as long as it lasted. A brutal right hand caught Anderson on the jaw when he overextended. He dropped to the ground and was then smashed with a hammer fist. It was a brutal way for his title dream to end. Blachowicz said:
“The whole world, they was wrong about me. I proved that I’m one of the best in the world. I thank Corey for the rematch, and I proved that I’m the next contender for the title shot. Let’s talk about my next opponent, Jon Jones.”
Jan Błachowicz bombards with "legendary Polish power," plastering Corey Anderson in just three minutes! That's three straight wins with two big KOs; is it enough to entice Jon Jones? #UFCRioRancho pic.twitter.com/QJkgJdkhd7
— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) February 16, 2020
Jon Jones was in attendance. He even had the crowd on their feet chanting his name. After his sensational knockout, Blachowicz confronted ‘Bones’. He repeatedly said: “You promised me.” Then, in his post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier, he made it very clear that a title shot has to be next. Jones himself spoke about the result.
“I was happy to see Corey eat his words,” Jones said. “He’s been talking so much trash, and then to go out there and perform the way he did, yeah. Oh yeah, Jan (is a worthy opponent). He’s got great knockout power. He’s very technical. His fundamentals are very sharp, and yeah, I think he’s going to make a great opponent.
“I can totally see the UFC matching us up. What better way to make a claim for the title than a knockout like that. I’ve got a feeling the UFC’s going to giving me a call really soon. Whoever I fight, I’m excited. I’m ready to go. I’m fully healed from my last fight, as you can see. No black eyes. Face, body, mind, heart is ready, so let’s do this.”
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 16, 2020
Only time will tell what happens next at 205lbs. Obviously, Dominick Reyes wants a rematch and he has a strong claim. But the problem is that that ship appears to have sailed. When it comes down to it, all three judges gave the result to Jones and it’s not an appealing match-up for the champion.
If he stays at light-heavyweight then Blachowicz will probably be his next opponent. It’s been a long journey for the veteran Pole. At 36-years-old, it’s now or never. Jones would be a massive favorite but you can’t rule out Blachowicz and his savage power. But a win over him and there’s literally nobody left at light-heavyweight for Jones.