UFC Fight Night predictions -- Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic: Fight card, start time, odds, live stream
The pair of light heavyweight contenders meet in the main event on Saturday night with many implications.
On Saturday night, former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz returns to the Octagon for the first time since losing his title when he takes on Aleksandar Rakic. The two men meet in the main event of UFC Fight Night from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Blachowicz charged to the top of the light heavyweight pack when Jon Jones' planned move to heavyweight and vacating of the 205-pound championship left the division without a top dog. Blachowicz followed up a knockout of Corey Anderson with a dominant, one-sided stoppage of Dominick Reyes to win the vacant title.
Blachowicz was set for a fairly quick turnaround as he was scheduled to fight Rakic in January. Blachowicz then suffered a neck injury that left him unable to feel or move the left side of his body, forcing the fight to be delayed several months.
The undercard fills out with some familiar names and faces. Ion Cutelaba battles Ryan Spann in another light heavyweight contest slotted for the co-main event. Veterans Davey Grant and Louis Smolka are set for a bantamweight clash. Women's flyweight stalwart Katlyn Chookagian welcomes Amanda Ribas to the 125-pound division after a long stay at strawweight. Plus, Manuel Torres takes on Frank Camacho at lightweight and Jake Hadley faces Allan Nascimento at flyweight.
UFC Fight Night viewing information
Date: May 14 | Start time: 10 p.m. ET
Location: UFC Apex -- Las Vegas
TV Channel: ESPN2 | Stream: ESPN+
Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic: Blachowicz had a very bad night against Teixeira, there's no way around that. But against Anderson, Reyes and Adesanya he was outstanding. Rakic has been consistent and solid against somewhat middling competition and only three fights removed from not making a clear case for a win against Oezdemir. The odds here feel like an overreaction to Blachowicz coming up well short on a night that felt like pure destiny for an all-time great. A Rakic win is far from out of the question, but Blachowicz has beaten better fighters than Rakic and beaten them more convincingly. Until I see proof that Rakic is the better fighter, my instincts say to stick by Blachowicz at an underdog price.