In the main event of UFC Vegas 54, a light heavyweight bout headlined the card as Jan Blachowicz took on Aleksandar Rakic.
Blachowicz was returning to action for the first time since losing his light heavyweight title to Glover Teixeira. Prior to that, he defeated Israel Adesanya to defend the belt, this after winning the vacant title by knocking out Dominick Reyes.
Rakic, meanwhile, hadn’t fought since March of 2021 when he edged out a decision over Thiago Santos. It was his second win in a row after he previously defeated Anthony Smith by decision.
In the end, it was Blachowicz getting the win by third-round TKO as Rakic’s left knee gave out and the fight was stopped. Now, after the UFC Vegas 54, here is what I think should be next for both Blachowicz and Rakic.
Jan Blachowicz was looking to return to the win column and he did just that to be right back into title contention. Before the fight happened, Texeira said if Blachowicz won and he beat Jiri Prochazka at UFC 275 he would run it back so the pressure was on the Pole.
With Blachowicz winning, the fight that does make sense is facing the winner of Teixeira-Prochazka for the lightweight title. The Pole was a surprise champion and after beating the third-ranked contender, he has proven his spot as the top contender. Along with that, there is no other clear-cut contender outside Magomed Ankalaev who has a fight booked against Anthony Smith on July 30 so the timing works out for Blachowicz to get the shot.
Aleksandar Rakic was holding out for the right fight and unfortunately for him, it did not go in his favor. The Austrian had not fought since March of 2021 but he got the big fight he was looking for as had he beat Blachowicz, he very well could’ve earned a title shot.
First thing first, Rakic will have to heal up his leg and go through rehab and once he is healthy, the division will be much different. He had said he wants to run things back with Blachowicz, yet I don’t think that will happen. Instead, the winner of Paul Craig vs. Volkan Oezdemir makes sense as he lost a controversial split to Oezdemir and it is a step-down Rakic will likely get after the setback.
What do you think should be next for Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic after UFC Vegas 54?