In the co-main event of UFC 253 on Saturday, Jan Blachowicz punished Dominick Reyes for a little under two rounds to earn the vacant Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title. The former KSW champ did so with a confidence and ease that belied his status as a 2-to-1 underdog.
After the resounding win—which made Blachowicz’s native Poland only the fourth country to produce both a male and female UFC champ—talk inevitably turned to the man whose abrupt departure had left the title vacant in the first place: Jon Jones. Blachowicz called out the former champ in his post-fight interview and “Bones” sent a bemused-yet-interested response via Twitter, leading to speculation that Jones might return to the division he dominated for so long.
However, for the moment it is all about what the new champ terms his “legendary Polish power.” The next challenger, barring some unforeseen power play by Jones, is likely to be the winner of the upcoming bout between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira. Either one would offer an interesting narrative angle, as Santos knocked Blachowicz out when they met a few years ago, while the 40-year-old Teixeira is experiencing a late-career resurgence that parallels that of the new champ in some aspects.
Ben Duffy/Sherdog.com illustration