Jan Blachowicz Confirms Spinal Injury, Withdraws From UFC Columbus Headliner With Aleksandar Rakic

    ByRoss Markey

    Jan 29, 2022

    Former UFC light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz has confirmed his withdrawal from a UFC Fight Night Columbus main event against the streaking, Aleksandar Rakic on March 26. – citing a spinal injury as the reasoning for his withdrawal.

    Last night, reports began to emerge detailing how Blachowicz had been removed from his UFC Fight Night Columbus main event with Rakic, with the pairing likely to be reworked for an event later this year.

    The outing was expected to mark the Pole’s first outing since dropping his undisputed light heavyweight title against Glover Teixeira back in October at UFC 267.

    For Rakic, the Austrian-born contender is undefeated in his last two Octagon outings – most recent handing common-opponent, Thiago Santos with a relatively forgettable unanimous decision back in March at UFC 259.

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    Confirming his withdrawal from the event, Blachowicz explained how he had suffered a spinal injury, and would not be able to prepare properly for his return against Rakic.

    “Unfortunately I will not fight March 26th at #UFCColumbus,” Jan Blachowicz tweeted. “I have an injury in my spine around my neck area. That makes it impossible to train with heavyweights. I need to fix that now. I hope we will meet with @rakic_ufc (Aleksandar Rakic) in the Octagon in the first half of this year.”

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    October’s submission loss to Teixeira came as the first for Blachowicz since embarking on a five-fight winning spree.

    The former KSW light heavyweight titleholder had scooped the vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 253 in September 2020 – stopping Dominick Reyes with a devastating second round knockout.

    Returning for his first title defense in March of last year at the aforenoted UFC 269 event, Blachowicz became the first to defeat middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya in professional mixed martial arts – landing a unanimous decision triumph against the two-division title hopeful.

    6-1 during his seven-fight Octagon tenure, Rakic’s sole defeat in that period came courtesy of a dubious split decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Fight Night Busan in December 2019.

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    Amongst his promotional victories, Rakic added Santos to a list that includes former title challenger, Anthony Smith, Devin Clark, and light heavyweight veteran and perennial contender, Jimi Manuwa.