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Jan Blachowicz Vows to Send Alex Pereira Back to Middleweight after UFC 291

In a bold move to regain his footing in the light heavyweight division, Jan Blachowicz has seized the opportunity to face former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira at UFC 291 on July 29 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Blachowicz, determined to prove himself as a top contender once again, aims to be the first to welcome Pereira to the 205-pound weight class and send him back to middleweight. His motivation for the fight stems from his disappointing majority draw against Magomed Ankalaev in his last bout.

Eager to secure a victory that will catapult him back into title contention, Blachowicz wasted no time in requesting the matchup when he heard that Pereira was making the move up in weight. Recognizing the potential stylistic matchup, Blachowicz believes he has what it takes to hand Pereira a decisive defeat.

“I think this is my job in the UFC sometimes. I need to do it in the best way, to send him back to the lower category,” Blachowicz said on The MMA Hour.

Pereira's rise to the UFC was nothing short of remarkable, earning a title shot in just his fifth professional MMA fight. His kickboxing background and previous victories over Israel Adesanya paved the way for his opportunity, culminating in a dramatic comeback knockout to claim the middleweight gold.

However, his reign was short-lived when Adesanya knocked him out at UFC 287, leading Pereira to decide to move up to the light heavyweight division.

Blachowicz is no stranger to facing fighters making the transition to 205 pounds. Having broken the jaw of former UFC champion Luke Rockhold in a similar situation, as well as handing Adesanya his only other defeat in the promotion, Blachowicz is confident in his ability to give Pereira a rude welcome. He plans to utilize his experience and skill set to ensure that Pereira's venture into the light heavyweight division is met with a harsh reality check.

“For sure, he’s going to have power but what I always say if you change weight category you can spar in your gym with the bigger guys but when you fight, it’s completely different,” Blachowicz added. “Timing, speed, everything is different. Three times I fight before with guys from the lower division and I won everything. This time will be the same.”

The UFC has embraced Blachowicz's request for the matchup and even offered him a promising incentive. If he can emerge victorious against Pereira, the promotion has promised Blachowicz a title shot. This opportunity could potentially set him on a collision course with the winner of the anticipated showdown between reigning light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill and former titleholder Jiri Procházka.

“If I win the fight, my next fight will be for the title. It’s bigger motivation for me, and thanks to Alex that he moved to our category — new blood.” Blachowicz said.

With Blachowicz's sights set on a return to the top, he has positioned himself as the gatekeeper for Pereira's light heavyweight aspirations. Will Blachowicz succeed in his mission to send Pereira back to middleweight, or will the Brazilian prove to be a formidable force in his new weight class? The answer awaits on July 29, when two talented fighters collide in the co-main event of UFC 291.


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