UFC Vegas 54 Fight Breakdown: Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic


MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC Vegas 54, a five-round light heavyweight bout between Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic. The event takes place on Saturday, May 14 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Aleksandar Rakic (-195)

Rakic (14-2) is the No. 3 contender in the UFC light heavyweight division. The 30-year-old Austrian has been in the UFC since 2017 and he has a 6-1 record over that stretch. He has notable wins over the likes of Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith, with his lone loss in the Octagon coming against Volkan Oezdemir. Rakic is one of the top strikers at 205lbs. He is a huge fighter for this weight class and he is a very technical striker who does have power. He also has some of the top takedown defense in the division, and his offensive grappling can also be effective at times. Overall, he has proven he is one of the top contenders in the UFC light heavyweight division, but he just needs that one big win to elevate himself to the title shot. He gets that opportunity Saturday versus Blachowicz.

Jan Blachowicz (+165)

Blachowicz (28-9) is the No. 1 contender in the UFC light heavyweight division. The 39-year-old Pole has been in the UFC since 2014 and he has racked up an 11-6 record over that time. Some of his most notable wins include Israel Adesanya, Dominick Reyes, and Corey Anderson. He was the former UFC light heavyweight champion before losing his belt to Glover Teixeira in his last outing. Overall, he is a very well-rounded fighter. On the feet, he is a decorated striker who possesses what he calls the ‘legendary Polish knockout power,’ and on the feet, he can be an effective wrestler from the top position. He was on such a roll heading into his last fight against Glover Teixeira that it was surprising to see him lose in such lopsided fashion, getting submitted in the first round. Was it just a bad night at the office, or was it showing that Blachowicz is finally on a decline? We’ll soon find out.

Fight Breakdown: This should be an awesome fight between two of the best light heavyweights in the sport today. Blachowicz is a former champion and still one of the best at 205lbs, while Rakic is quickly closing in on the division’s elite. It should be a competitive fight, but ultimately I have to lean towards Rakic to get his hand raised. I think he is more in his prime as an athlete right now at age 30, while Blachowicz has likely exited his prime at age 39. I see this being mostly a standup fight between two fighters who prefer to stand and trade, and I believe Rakic will be able to outpoint Blachowicz over the course of 25 minutes. Rakic has been going to a decision a lot lately, so I don’t necessarily see a finish here, but I do believe he can pick his shots and win the decision here. Ultimately, I lean towards the younger, bigger fighter to get the job done as the short betting favorite.

Prediction: Aleksandar Rakic

Written by Adam Martin.


UFC Vegas 54: Blachowicz vs. Rakic Preview MMAOB Daily Podcast For May 10th

UFC Pros Picks Show – UFC Vegas 54