15 May Slavic derby for light heavyweight title contender status, performance by Ion Kutselaba and the return of Michael Johnson.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz will return in a challenge match against #3 light heavyweight Alexander Rakic. Their bout this weekend will headline UFC on ESPN 36 in the Enterprise, USA.

Rakic ​​(14-2) is 7-1 in the UFC and has lost only to Volkan Özdemir in four years in the organization and then by controversial decision. In the last two fights, the Rocket has won unconditional victories over former title contenders Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith ( video ).

Blachowicz (28-9) tried on the vacant UFC belt last year when he sensationally knocked out Dominic Reyes , who had previously beaten Jon Jones well and forced the ex-champion to run from a rematch under a far-fetched pretext.

Having received a fighter they didn’t need as a belt holder, the UFC first intended to pump the middleweight champion Israel Adesanya on the Pole , but their plan failed, and then they brought it together with Glover Teixeira , who is also not a stranger to the promotion - Chuck Liddell was his mentor for so many years, and everything went through without a hitch. In the second round, the 42-year-old Brazilian "guillotined" Jan , becoming the oldest division champion in history.

The winner of the Blachowicz-Rakic ​​match will most likely receive the status of contender for the No. 1 title and the right to fight the winner of the upcoming Teixeira title holder - Jiří Prochazka .

Fightcard of the tournament:

Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic
​​Ryan Spann vs. Ion Cutelaba
Davey Grant vs. Louis Smolka
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Amanda Ribas
Frank Camacho vs. Manuel Torres
Jake Hadley vs. Allan Nascimento

Undercard:
Viviane Araujo vs. Andrea Lee
Michael Johnson vs. Alan Patrick
Virna Jandiroba vs. Angela Hill
Tatsuro Taira vs. Carlos Candelario
Nick Maximov vs. Andre Petroski
Journey Newson vs. Fernie Garcia

UFC & MMA fighting videos

 
5:36
From UFC Connected, Greg Jackson gives a unique insight into his coaching philosophies when training some of the sports best such as Jon Jones,...
 
1:35
UFC flyweight Brandon Royval earned his ninth career first-round finish in an early prelim bout on Saturday at UFC 274, overcoming a valiant...
 
9:02
Carla Esparza and Tony Ferguson talk about TUF days. Justin Gaethje gets in the zone. Champ Rose Namajunas’ coach recounts her evolution; LW...
 
5:20
Here are some of the best finishes from fighters competing on the UFC Vegas 53 fight card this Saturday.
 
17:34
UFC lightweight Charles Oliveira took questions from the media at the UFC 274 post-fight press conference following his victory by submission over...
 
5:14
Take a look at a collection of UFC bantamweight Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera’s best finishes over the span of his career in anticipation for his main...
 
3:33
UFC featherweight Joanderson Brito put on a show in his main card matchup with Andre Fili at UFC Vegas 53 on Saturday requiring less than a minute...
 
2:33
UFC welterweight Randy Brown opened the main card at UFC 274 on Saturday with a win over Khaos Williams after a close back-and-forth battle via...