Ahead of his incoming light heavyweight clash against former middleweight champion, Alex Pereira at UFC 291 at the end of this month, former light heavyweight titleholder, Jan Blachowicz stands firm in his plan to share the center of the Octagon with the Brazilian, and slug it out.
Blachowicz, the current number three ranked light heavyweight contender, has been sidelined since he headlined UFC 282 back in December, in an impromptu vacant title fight with Russian contender, Magomed Ankalaev, battling over the course of five rounds to a split decision draw.
As for Pereira, the former two-weight GLORY Kickboxing champion, makes his light heavyweight divisional bow at UFC 291 against Polish veteran, Blachowicz, attempting to return to the winner’s enclosure after dropping his middleweight crown to rival, Israel Adesanya back in April in Miami, Florida.
Jan Blachowicz plans to stand and strike with Alex Pereira at UFC 291
And ahead of the much-anticipated pairing, former KSW champion, Blachowicz claimed that he would be happy to test his striking against Sao Paulo native, Pereira – and insists he still retains that plan to strike with the latter from the onset of their co-headliner.
“I’m a standup fighter,” Jan Blachowicz told Michael Bisping on the Believe You Me podcast. “I like fighting standup. So, I have to check my standup against someone like (Alex) Pereira, but if i don’t feel good – if I take some punches, for sure, I’m going to use wrestling and take him down. Because also, I’m not stupid, you know – I know what I have to do in this fight. And I’ll use all my tools to do it.”
“I will not go for (a) takedown from the locker room, you know,” Jan Blachowicz explained. “I will stand in the middle of the cage and punch with him. And if something goes wrong, then I will start wrestling – but not earlier.”
Prior to his draw against Ankalaev, Blachowicz took a third round TKO win over fellow contender, Aleksandar Rakic in a main event clash back in May of last year to boot.
And ahead of UFC 291, Blachowicz’s return against Pereira still retains a three round non-title bout billing, despite calls for the pairing to include a now-vacant light heavyweight title, following the relinquishing of Jamahal Hill last week.