UFC Vegas 54: Blachowicz vs. Rakic Recap

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Jan Blachowicz celebrates after winning his UFC 239 bout. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP

The UFC Vegas 54 main card was spectacular because we had four out of six fights ending inside the distance. We had T/KO’s from Manuel Torres, Davey Grant, and Jan Blachowicz, and a submission victory from Ryan Spann. 

Now, out of all of those bouts, I want to highlight the main event with Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic. Blachowicz entered the bout as an underdog and was one of my most valuable picks on this entire card, aside from Virna Jandiroba – congrats to her in her victory over Angela Hill. 

In what was supposed to be a five-round main event, Jan Blachowicz was able to come out victorious inside the distance against Aleksandar Rakic. Read below for my UFC Vegas 54 Recap

Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic

UFC Light Heavyweight Main Event Bout

The former champ, Jan Blachowicz, entered the octagon Saturday night with UFC Odds at +165 and Aleksandar Rakic the heavy favorite at -210. 

In one of my predictions for this UFC Vegas 54 main card, I envisioned Blachowicz’s durability and championship round experience giving him the edge to win this bout. However, this bout did not need to make it into the championship rounds. 

Blachowicz vs. Rakic Fight Recap

Round 1

Rakic with the first jab to start the fight, followed by both men exchanging leg kicks. Blachowicz threw a head kick but missed. As Rakic was chipping away some more at the legs, Blachowicz landed a heavy right hand, followed by a snapping body kick. 

Rakic landed with a right punch to the body. The output between the two was consistent and neither wanted to relieve pressure. Blachowicz landed a nasty left hook to hurt the Austrian fighter so, in return, he switched his stance to land some heavy leg kicks on the former champ. 

Rakic attempted to switch levels, but Blachowicz defended and landed a clean combo. As Blachowicz ended the first round with a leg kick and combo, you could see the nasty damage on Rakic’s leg swelling. 

It was later known that Blachowicz suffered an eye injury after one of the first punches from Rakic but that didn’t seem to fade him.

Round 2

Both fighters had decent damage done to each other. Rakic wanted to switch levels early in this round and succeeded. Blachowicz was searching for a possible triangle and was almost able to secure it, but Rakic escaped. They scrambled until Rakic was on top in full guard, trying to land some heavy strikes. 

Blachowicz was keeping his guard tight and was defending against Rakic’s fury. The Austrian then landed an elbow, but it didn’t phase Blachowicz. 

The former champ then tried to stand up by using the cage, but Rakic was making it very difficult. In the final minute of the round, Rakic landed some uppercuts and strikes, but Blachowicz was able to get to his feet as the round ended. 

When Did the Action Take Place?

Round 3

At this point, it is clear to Blachowicz what he needs to do to win; keep the fight on off the ground. Blachowicz began this round with a clean combination. Rakic returned with a heavy jab that knocked the mouthpiece out of Blachowicz’s mouth!

The fight stopped briefly for Blachowicz to put his mouthpiece back in. 

The fight started up again; Blachowicz landed a leg kick. Rakic stepped and unfortunately his knee gave out and was injured. Mark Smith waved off the fight declaring Jan Blachowicz the winner by T/KO (injury) 1:11 in the third round.

Closing Remarks and What’s Next? 

It was sad to see the main event end due to an injury, especially since there was a superb performance coming from both sides of the octagon. There was a lot of power and confidence. 

Up next in the UFC, we have UFC Vegas 55: Holm vs. Vieira on Saturday, May 21st at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Check out the main card below: 

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.