Jan Blachowicz won the headline bout at UFC Vegas 54 on Saturday night. However, he did not escape unscathed.
The 39-year-old former light heavyweight champion fought against No. 3 ranked challenger Aleksandar Rakic in Las Vegas in the main event.
He won the fight by TKO in the third round after Rakic’s knee crumbled. However, he sustained an eye injury in the first round that may need surgery.
“It’s OK, but I’m going to have some small surgery on Monday on this eye,” the Polish striker remarked after the bout.
“Doctor says maybe it’s going to be small, maybe going to be bigger. He don’t know yet. He need to check in the hospital.”
Blachowicz recalls the injury, but is unsure if it was caused by a punch or an unintentional eye poke. Regardless, he claims the hit in the first round harmed his eyesight.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I feel it when it happened. It was in the beginning of the first round, one of the first punches. I don’t see anything in the first round with this eye.”
And indeed following the round, UFC showed a slowmotion of the action, Rakic’s glove scraped against the thin skin around the eye and damaged it.
This mean Blachowicz bounced back from a submission defeat to Glover Teixeira and is in contention for a title shot. Rakic is likely to be sidelined for a year and needs surgery to repair his ACL.
He is likely to face the winner of the forthcoming championship battle between Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka, which is slated for UFC 275 on June 11 in Singapore.
In fact, if his eye surgery goes well, he wants to attend the event live.
“I hope so, that the UFC gives me another title shot, that I’m going to be next one,” he stated.
“I was No 1, Rakic was No 3. For me it’s obvious that I’m the No 1 contender now for the title shot.”
“I’ve never been in Singapore, so why not? I like travelling. I like being in new places. So if they want me I will go there. But first of all I need to fix the eye. I don’t know what they’re going to do.”
Blachowicz had won five consecutive bouts before losing to Teixeira. He had won against Israel Adesanya, Dominick Reyes, Corey Anderson, Ronaldo Jacare Souza, and Luke Rockhold.