Jan Blachowicz already has two potential opponents lined up, but he won’t compete until the first quarter of 2021.
One day after taking out Dominick Reyes at UFC 253, Blachowicz was offered middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, but with the newly-crowned UFC light heavyweight champion expecting a baby with his fiancee in December, Blachowicz wants to take some time off and spend it with his family before returning to the octagon early in 2021.
Blachowicz (27-8 MMA, 10-5 UFC) is also unsure what his training situation will be like in the coming months in Poland, with various countries in Europe facing second lockdowns due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The other opponent waiting in the wings is Glover Teixeira (32-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC), who stopped former title challenger Thiago Santos in the third round at UFC on ESPN+ 40 to claim his fifth straight win and press his claims for a second shot at the title.
Chatting to MMA Junkie, Blachowicz said he’s willing to face either fighter, but not until March 2021.
“I was a little bit surprised (to be offered Adesanya), but I already knew that I cannot accept,” he said. “I said, ‘OK, it’s no problem, I can fight against him, but not in December. I can fight against him in March, him or Glover.’”
He continued, “I like both of them. They’re both really good fighters, so it’s gonna be an honor for me to fight against Israel or Glover. We’ll see what the UFC gives me. I’m gonna be ready for everybody, so it doesn’t matter. We’ll see.”
Blachowicz sees perks in fighting either man. In Teixeira, he sees a rightful No. 1 contender who, like Blachowicz, has managed to turn his career around after some previously inconsistent form.
But in Adesanya (20-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC), Blachowicz admits that there’s the lure of getting the opportunity to bounce the middleweight champion out of the ranks of the unbeaten.
“Both guys have something that I’d like to know,” Blachowicz said. “Glover is in my weight category, he’s in the same place that I was in before, so also he deserves a title shot, but it’s also good to fight against someone like Israel. To be the first one to beat him. That will also be a pleasure for me, so we’ll see.”
He continued, “Because he (Adesanya) will remember me for the rest of his life. When I beat him, he’s gonna have this 20-1, and I’ll always be the first one to beat him so it’s really nice to beat someone the first time in his life.”