Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic: UFC Fight Night Preview & Betting Guide
The main event features former UFC light heavyweight Jan Blachowicz taking on Aleksandar Rakic. Blachowicz is coming off losing his belt to Glover Teixeira back in October of 2021, while Rakic has strung together two straight wins in the UFC over the past two years.
Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic Fight Details
LHW – #1 Jan Blachowicz (28-9-0) vs. LHW – #3 Aleksandar Rakic (14-2-0)
How Will Fight End: KO/TKO/DQ +105 | Submission +550 | Decision +110
Will the fight go the distance? Yes +110 | No -155
Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic Analysis
Before Blachowicz lost his belt to Teixeira, he had a five-fight win streak, beating Israel Adesanya, Dominick Reyes, Corey Anderson, Ronaldo Souza, and Luke Rockhold. Blachowicz finished all but Adesanya and Souza by knockout or technical knockout. However, of those five fighters, Adesanya, Souza, and Rockhold have all primarily fought at middleweight. Blachowicz has extensive experience fighting as far back as 2007 but his early UFC career did not go smoothly. After beating Ilir Latifi in his UFC debut, Blachowicz would lose four of his next five bouts. He would turn things around by winning nine of his next ten fights, including beating Reyes for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title.
Meanwhile, Rakic has won 14 of his past 15 fights and six of his seven UFC bouts. The only blemish in his UFC career is a split decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir in 2019. Of those 14 wins, nine have been by knockout and one by submission. However, he only has two finishes in the UFC, a TKO of Devin Clark and a KO of Jimi Manuwa. Rakic is coming off a decision win over Thiago Santos, the last fighter to beat Blachowicz before Teixeira.
Rakic will have a two-inch height advantage, but they both have a 78-inch reach. Rakic’s 69 percent KO/TKO win rate is significantly higher than Blachowicz’s 26 percent. However, he has only won by submission eight percent of the time, while the former champ has a 29 percent submission win rate. They have a similar average fight time, but expectedly Rakic averages 0.32 more knockdowns per 15 minutes.
The two light heavyweights land significant strikes at a similar percentage, but Rakic lands 0.64 more per minute. He also absorbs 0.56 fewer significant strikes per minute. Blachowicz will have the grappling advantage. Aside from being the better submission fighter, he lands 0.39 more takedowns per 15 minutes and has twice the success rate. However, Rakic has a 90 percent takedown defense rate.
There are a lot of factors playing against Blachowicz in this fight. He’s coming off the loss of his title, he’s nine years older, and he’s recovering from a neck injury. Blachowicz has shown he can fight in a boring control style but can also knock out his opponents. Rakic will look to keep the bout standing and try to outstrike Blachowicz.
This contest is probably closer than the odds indicate, so there is value on Blachowicz, but father time is undefeated, so I’m leaning towards Rakic.
Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic Prediction
The Picks: Rakic Win (-200), Rakic by Decision/Technical Decision (+200)
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