When the once reigning and once defending light heavyweight champion relinquished the title in hopes of bigger weights and bigger paydays, it made fight sense to pair his top two challengers together for a shot to be the new champion.
After Saturday’s UFC 253 at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, the title is vacant no longer Jan Blachowicz dispatched Dominick Reyes via second round TKO to become the new UFC light heavyweight champion.
Following a fairly even first round and a half, Blachowicz started finding a home for his powerful hands, appearing to break Reyes’ nose. The 37-year-old landed a flush left hook that dropped Reyes to the mat and after some brief ground strikes, it was over without dispute.
The Poland-born champion is on a four fight win streak and has wins in eight of his last nine. He’s been in the UFC since 2014, carrying a 10-5 Octagon record, and this was his first shot at UFC gold.
The 205-pound title was vacated by Jon Jones in August after he lost interest in his competition at light heavyweight paired with an increasing desire to fight at heavyweight against bigger names. The main sticking point to that happening is the right amount of money for the right fight.
Blachowicz, a former KSW light heavyweight champion, called out Jones post-fight to which Jones tweeted “Boo” and proceeded to mock Reyes who had been critical of the now-former champion in the past.