If victorious at UFC 253, Jan Blachowicz wants to avenge Thiago Santos loss in first title defense

Jan Blachowicz is not overlooking his upcoming fight, but he already has his following bout in mind.

The perennial contender will fight for the UFC’s vacant light heavyweight championship Sept. 26, when he takes on Dominick Reyes in the co-main event of UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi. It’s a contest for a belt UFC star Jon Jones vacated to make his move up to the heavyweight division.

Although Blachowicz (26-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC) recognizes Reyes as a serious threat, the Polish fighter already has a name in mind if he’s victorious at UFC 253.

“For me it would be perfect, when I win against Dominick Reyes, that … my first belt defense would be a rematch against Thiago,” Blachowicz told MMA Junkie on Tuesday in a virtual media day promoting UFC 253. “It would be something really good for me. That’s how I see it in my dreams.”

Blachowicz lost to Santos in February 2019 via third-round TKO. It’s Blachowicz’s only blemish in the last three years, a span in which he’s gone 7-1.

Santos was scheduled to take on Teixeira this month, but the latter was forced to withdraw from the event after testing positive for coronavirus. Then, Tuesday it was announced that Santos also tested for COVID-19. The UFC didn’t immediately reveal plans to reschedule the bout, which most consider would serve as a No. 1 contender fight.

In the meantime, Blachowicz believes Reyes is game and finds his striking to be the most dangerous part of his skillset.

“I think everything that he’s got is the standup,” Blachowicz said. “He’s a really good kickboxer; his standup is very dangerous. Good cardio, really strong. If you take him down, he stands up really good, so it’s going to be the most dangerous, his standup game.”

Despite respecting his game, Blachowicz said he plans on using something his opponent won’t bring to the table.

“I got the legendary Polish power,” Blachowicz said. “I’m going to bring it to the fight. He’s going to feel it.”

Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/09/ufc-253-jan-blachowicz-thiago-santos-next-if-wins

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