Jan Blachowicz always wanted to rematch Corey Anderson.
The two first fought back at UFC 191 where it was Anderson who used his wrestling to score a unanimous decision win. Now, in the main event of UFC Rio Rancho, they will run it back where the stakes are higher, as the winner is expected to receive the next title shot against Jon Jones.
“They have said it but we will see after the fight,” Blachowicz said to BJPENN.com. “When I sign the contract against Jones then I’ll know 100 percent I have the title shot. First off, I’m focused on Corey Anderson.”
Blachowicz knows he is a completely different fighter than the first time he fought Anderson. He also knows his takedown defense is much improved as evidenced by the Luke Rockhold and Jacare Souza fights.
“I’m much better now than the first time I fought him. He got me a good time when we fought first. I’ve proven that I’m a better fighter and I can’t wait to show it,” he explained. “I’m much better at wrestling and grappling. When someone takes me down, I know what to do to get up. Even if Anderson takes me down, I’ll be back on my feet. He has to be ready for that.”
Although Anderson has shown off better striking, especially in his last fight where he knocked out Johnny Walker, Jan Blachowicz expects the American to be a wrestler in this fight. He thinks once he lands one solid punch on Anderson he will shoot.
“Every fight starts standing and his striking has gotten better. He knocked out Walker so I think he has started to believe in his boxing so maybe he will be able to stand,” he said. “But, I think after three or four minutes and after I hit him he will start to be a wrestler again. I expect that but I am ready for it.”
Yet, Blachowicz is confident in his standup and takedown defense that he’ll be able to keep it standing and will score a knockout early into the fight.
“I’m ready for five rounds and I know how to fight five rounds when I have to rest, and when I can push the tempo. I’m ready for everything. But I’d rather finish it in the first or second round by KO,” Blachowicz said. “I believe I can knock him out in the second round but I am ready for five rounds. I’ll be looking for the knockout.
“I’m going to be ready for him and I know how to stuff the takedown,” he continued. “He’ll only strike to set up the clinch and takedowns. I know what to do to knock him out and how to protect myself against wrestling.”
Should Jan Blachowicz get the knockout his next opponent could be Jon Jones, and he is confident he would dethrone the champion. Not only would he beat “Bones,” he says, but he would finish him.
“I don’t want to talk about Jon Jones right now because I’m focused on Corey. But, I have something for Jon Jones and I know how I can beat him and I’d be the first person to stop him,” he said. “First, I have to beat Corey Anderson.”
For Blachowicz, his goals for 2020 are simple. Knock out Anderson and then win and defend the title.
“Win against Corey, win the title and defend the title at the end of the year. That is the perfect 2020 for me,” he concluded.
Do you think Jan Blachowicz will be able to knock out Corey Anderson?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/7/2020.