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UFC Fight Night predictions — Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic: Fight card, odds, start time, live stream

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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.

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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.

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After an impressive performance in fending off middleweight champion Israel Adesanya’s attempt to become a two-division champion, it seemed Blachowicz was set for a long reign as light heavyweight king. Then came a UFC 267 clash with Glover Teixeira this past October, a fight that saw Blachowicz finished in the second round as the 42-year-old Teixeira snatched the championship.

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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.

“It was scary” Blachowicz told MMA Fighting. “You don’t know what happened. You can’t move your left hand. It was a weird feeling for me. A new thing, a scary thing.”

Rakic ​​is a dangerous opponent and a man who has quietly remained one of the better fighters in the UFC light heavyweight division for years.

Since joining the promotion in 2017, Rakic ​​has compiled a 6-1 record in the Octagon. The lone loss in that time came by split decision to former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir, a result many in the MMA world disagreed with at the time. Without that loss, Rakic ​​may have already been granted a shot at the championship.

Adding a win over Blachowicz after back-to-back victories against former title challengers Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos may just be the thing Rakic ​​needs to land in a title fight by the end of 2022.

Here’s the fight card for UFC Fight Night with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

UFC Fight Night card, odds

Favorite Underdog weight class

Aleksandar Rakic-195

Jan Blachowicz +165

Lightweight

Ion Cuțelaba-240

Ryan Spann +200

Lightweight

Davey Grant-310

Louis Smolka +250

bantamweight

Katlyn Chookagian-190 Amanda Ribas +160 Women’s flyweight
Manuel Torres-125 Frank Camacho +105 lightweight
Jake Hadley-220 Allan Nascimento +180 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+

prediction

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. Pick: Jan Blachowicz via UD



Source: www.cbssports.com

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