01 Jan UFC champ Jan Blachowicz issues warning to Israel Adesanya about coming to light heavyweight
It turns out Jan Blachowicz hadn’t even made it home from his win over Dominick Reyes to claim the vacant UFC light heavyweight championship before he was fielding messages about his next showdown coming against Israel Adesanya.
Just recently, UFC president Dana White revealed that the promotion was tentatively planning on Blachowicz facing the middleweight champion in his first title defense in 2021. While nothing has been signed at this point, Blachowicz actually heard about this potential fight on his way back to Poland after claiming the 205-pound title in September.
“One day after my fight, I knew that they would like to do this fight,” Blachowicz told MMA Fighting. “They text me on the plane when I was on the way home. So I was a little bit surprised but also excited because he is one of the best.
“He never lost a fight in MMA so if they make this fight, I will be the first to beat him and he will remember it for the rest of his life. It will be amazing. Small bonus for me.”
When it comes to the actual matchup, Blachowicz doesn’t have a bad word to say about Adesanya, although he can only judge “The Last Stylebender” by what he’s seen thus far in his middleweight fights in the UFC.
Adesanya has largely run roughshod over the division including knockouts against former champion Robert Whittaker and top ranked contender Paulo Costa in two of his last three fights. Best known as a devastating striker with pinpoint accuracy, Adesanya has also earned his credentials in the sport of boxing and kickboxing before devoting himself full-time to mixed martial arts.
As impressive as he’s been, however, Blachowicz cautions Adesanya about the move up to light heavyweight and challenging for the title in his first fight in the division.
“All my life I’m in this category so I know everything about this category. Everything is different,” Blachowicz said. “Cardio is different. Timing is different. Speed is different. You can train with heavyweight guys, you can train with 205 guys but this is training. A fight is completely different.
“When guys change their category, they’ve got problems with that, problems with everything. Not everyone can be ready for that. We will see.”
There are always exceptions to the rule but Blachowicz believes that Adesanya might be biting off a little more than he can chew by jumping to the front of the line while moving to a much bigger division.
“Maybe Adesanya will be ready for that but I don’t think so,” Blachowicz said. “If he wants to make his first fight at 205, with the champion, it’s going to be a problem for him.
“I think it would better for him, safer for him if he makes first fight with someone from the contenders, not in the top of the rankings but someone from behind.”
That said, Blachowicz is more than happy to take the fight but he promises Adesanya will receive a rather rude welcome to the light heavyweight division.
“That’s going to be a problem for him, not for me,” Blachowicz said. “If he wants to feel the legendary Polish power, I’m going to be ready for his pretty style.”
Whether it’s Adesanya or a fight against seemingly ageless wonder Glover Teixeira, who just recently earned a submission win over Thiago Santos to cement himself as the No. 1 contender at light heavyweight, it doesn’t matter much to Blachowicz.
Part of the benefit of becoming champion is that his days of calling out specific opponents is over.
Now he just gets to sit back and wait for the UFC to come to him with an offer and Blachowicz will happily sign on the dotted line.
“It’s good. Because I don’t like when my life is boring,” Blachowicz said. “I like when something happens all the time. Now I’ve got two opponents. I can fight both of them in one night, no problem. I do this before. I did three fights in one night. I’m joking. They are good fighters, it would be hard to make this happen. I don’t like to choose my opponents.
“We’ll see what the UFC [says], if they tell me you’re next fight is going to be Glover, I will sign that no problem. If they tell me your next opponent is Adesanya, I will sign that also. I don’t like to choose. If they want to give me Glover, no problem. If they want to give me Adesanya, no problem.”