The UFC's 205-pound division is currently on a shakeup as new names are below Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier on the light heavyweight rankings.
The No. 6 light heavyweight Jan Błachowicz took on the No. 8 middleweight Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza at light heavyweight in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 22 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Blachowicz looked to climb up the rankings further after knocking out former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold while Souza looked to establish himself as a contender in the new weight class.
Blachowicz squeaks past JacareSouza openly said his gameplay was to use his jiu-jitsu and grappling roots for the fight. It showed as he looked to get the fight to the ground early on. He gained brief control along the fence in the clinch. Souza stuck to his gameplay through the first three rounds but wasn't that successful in getting his Polish opponent to the ground.
Blachowicz pressed forward and took the fight to Souza as the fourth round began. Souza showed signs of fatigue as he hoped to just cruise along in the final two frames while his opponent was landing jabs and putting together combinations.
In the final seconds, Both fighters raised their arms in the final seconds as both thought they did enough to win the fight. The judges scored the fight for Blachowicz by split decision.
The Brazilian crowd wasn't happy with the decision and neither did Souza.
Close fight"Every time it's a tough fight, a close fight, they never give me the decision. They never give me a win. Twenty days ago I had a really bad cough. Ten days ago I almost had to pull out of the fight, but I had to fight here at home. I had to fight in Brazil, so I came," said Souza following the loss.
"I think I won the fight, so that's good for me but I didn't feel this fight today. I don't feel the fight. I felt good cardio. I feel good, but Jacare was a good fight for me. I could not catch him. Anyway, I won the fight so that's good," Blachowicz said following the win.
Blachowicz cemented his spot in the light heavyweight division rankings and hopes for potential title fight soon. He had it in mind indeed as he called for a fight against champion Jon Jones.
"I want someone from the top. Maybe title shot. Why not? I'm ready," he said. "Jon, let's do this. Give me the fight. Give me the title shot because I don't have time, maybe three more years and then I'm going to retire. So, now or never."
The 36-year old knows he has some good years left and isn't wasting time to ask for his share of opportunity.
Does Jan Błachowicz deserve a title fight in his next outing? Who does he have to face to become No. 1 contender? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.