Jan Blachowicz put himself in the middle of the light heavyweight title discussion after recording a devastating first-round knockout win over Corey Anderson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 167 on Saturday.
Blachowicz (26-8) hit Anderson (13-5) with a straight right hand at 3:08 into the first round, dropping his opponent and finishing the fight in an instant.
Big Win Leads to Post-Fight Callout
Anderson and Blachowicz came into the fight as the No. 5 and No. 6 contenders respectively in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. With champion Jon Jones having defeated everyone in front of them in the standings, both men went into the bout knowing a spectacular win might earn them a title shot.
Blachowicz pounced on that opportunity after his win, immediately calling out Jones, who was in the crowd for the fight.
— UFC (@ufc) February 16, 2020
“You promised me, ‘You’re next,’” Blachowicz told Jones after the bout. “Let’s do this. Tell me when.”
The highlight reel victory now leaves Jones with two intriguing options for his next title defense. Many observers believed that Dominick Reyes (12-1) earned a win by decision over Jones at UFC 247 earlier this month, but the judges gave the victory to Jones.
Blachowicz, Reyes Both Want Shots at Jones
The result led to calls for a rematch between Jones and Reyes, but the nature of Blachowicz’s win could change the UFC’s immediate plans.
Reyes reacted to the post-fight interaction between Jones and Blachowicz, suggesting on Twitter that the champion might be ducking him.
Duck Duck Goose 🦆 @ufc
— Dominick Reyes (@DomReyes) February 16, 2020
Jones remained noncommittal, saying he can see reasons to fight either of his prospective opponents.
“It’s something that I’ll definitely consider, but in order for a Dominick Reyes rematch to happen, it just need to take a few meetings with the UFC,” Jones told reporters after Saturday’s card. “But if we don’t rematch, I’m fine with that too. I think I won the fight, definitely won rounds three, four, five.”
Jones also commented on the possibility of a Blachowicz fight.
“Jan has been looking great,” Jones told reporters. “The way he knocked out Luke Rockhold, Corey Anderson – I mean, both of those guys are known not to be able to take a punch, but he’s pulling the trigger, and he’s landing those big shots. So I think he’s very deserving [of a title shot].”
Meanwhile, Blachowicz said he could live with fighting the winner of a Jones vs. Reyes rematch, provided he doesn’t have to wait long.
“I will be angry for a little bit if they make this fight. I am going to wait for the winner of the rematch,” Blachowicz said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “But not too long, you know?”
Cejudo Points to Aldo for Next Fight
UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo told ESPN on Saturday that his next fight will likely be against Jose Aldo. Cejudo said he would also be interested in fighting featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, but that the Aldo fight would likely come first.
“I think that’s where all the roads are leading to,” Cejudo said. “I think, to me, when you’re able to add Demetrious Johnson, TJ Dillashaw, and Jose Aldo – man, I’m covering everybody from flyweight to featherweight.”
UFC president Dana White has previously expressed interest in pairing Cejudo with Aldo at UFC 250 on May 9 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.