‘I’m gonna use magic’ against Alex Pereira and win a new UFC title shot

Former UFC LHW champ Jan Blachowicz thinks he'll get a title shot with a win over Alex Pereira at UFC 291.

By: Nate Wilcox | 2 weeks ago

Former UFC light heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz spoke to The New York Post in advance of his UFC 291 co-main event bout against ex-middleweight champ Alex Pereira.

April 8, 2023, Miami, FL, Miami, Florida, United States: MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 8: Alex Pereira reacts after his loss to Israel Adesanya in their middleweight fight during the UFC 287 event at Kaseya Center on April 8, 2023 in Miami, FL, United States. Miami, FL United States - ZUMAp175 20230408_zsa_p175_160 Copyright: xAlejandroxSalazarx
IMAGO | ZUMA WIRE by Alejandro Salazar

Blachowicz confident there is a UFC title shot in his future

When The Post’s Scott Fontana joked that Blachowicz was cursing the UFC light heavyweight champs after both Jiri Prochazka and then Jamahal Hill abdicated their UFC titles following outside competition injuries, Jan was quick to come clean with a caveat:

“Yes, I use Polish magic. No. I’m using my magic, but only before my own fight. I don’t use [it] when somebody [else] fights. I’m gonna use [it] against Pereira, not to anybody else.

“After this fight, me or Alex — I believe that’s gonna be me — we’re gonna have [a] title shot,” Blachowicz says. “My next fight after Pereira will be, I think, Jiri Prochazka. So for me, nothing changed; it’s just this. For now, I focus only about Alex. I don’t think about what’s gonna happen later.

“He was a world champion in kickboxing, so I have to be careful,” says Blachowicz, “but I want to try my stand-up against him in the cage. … I am curious how I’m gonna feel [against] his stand-up, how I’m gonna feel against him. But if I’m gonna feel bad, if I take too many punches, OK, let’s go, let’s do wrestling.

“[Pereira] trains with Glover; Glover is [a] very good grappler, very good wrestler,” Blachowicz says. “He’s also going to be ready for that. I think it’s gonna be [a] tough fight for both of us.”

Rumor has it Blachowicz vs. Pereira already has title implications

Rumors that the bout had already been promoted to a title fight have been swirling following the leak of a UFC email to bars offering the pay-per-view.

The UFC was quick to issue a denial.

Dana White touts Jan Blachowicz & Alex Pereira as ‘two of the best knock-out artists’

When he announced the bout on Twitter, UFC and PowerSlap CEO Dana White called them “two of the best knockout artists in the world.” 

UFC vet picking Blachowicz

Anthony Smith went on The MMA Hour and made his pick.

“I think he can do well, for sure. He’s going to have a tough time with some of the top guys, just with his skill set. But just in pure striking matches, I think he can do well. 

“I think Jan Blachowicz is a pretty tough matchup, if I’m being honest. I think it’s a really tough matchup. Yeah, I do [think Pereira loses that].

“Again, we’re talking about leg kicks here — Jan Blachowicz might be the best kick defender in the entire UFC, and I’ve been saying that for a long time. But if you go back and even watch the Adesanya fight, it all starts with the leg kicks.

“Izzy’s game is very predicated on establishing his range and his striking with his leg kicks. Jan did a really good job of defending those and staying competitive in the striking, to get the takedowns later.”

How Alex Pereira is preparing for UFC 291

Ahead of UFC 291, Pereira chose former opponent Sean Strickland as one of his training partners in preparation for the bout. And he is satisfied with the short gym time they had. 

“I was surprised with his high level on the ground. He surprised me,” Pereira said of Strickland. “People say his style is kind of weird. People say that about me, too. After training with him, I’m starting to get it. 

“They are things that work. He taught us some things that I’ll practice for sure because I saw that they are very effective.”

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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