Exclusive: Jan Blachowicz on Prochazka’s ‘Madness’ and Chimaev’s ‘Internet’ Talk
Much of the mixed martial arts world was impressed by Jiri Prochazka’s knockout win at UFC on ESPN 23. Some were even surprised that the Czech fighter was able to dispatch of former title contender Dominick Reyes in under two rounds. You can count Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz as both impressed and surprised by the outcome of last week’s main event. You can also count him as motivated by the surging talent in the division he reigns over.
Jan Blachowicz on Prochazka: ‘He’s got a crazy style [and] it’s working really good’
“I was a little bit surprised. But I knew he was a really good fighter. He’s got a crazy style [and] it’s working really good. I thought Dominick Reyes would do a little bit better in this fight; that he [wouldn’t] play in [Prochazka’s] game. But he played his game and [Prochazka] won the fight,” Blachowicz told MixedMartialArts.com. “We’ll see after Glover [Teixeira] what’s going to happen, but he’s new blood in the UFC. It’s good because the 205-pound [division] right now is amazing. Everybody is tough [and] everybody can beat you. For me, it’s great motivation to go to the gym and train really hard.”
Following Prochazka’s second knockout win in the Octagon, ESPN broadcaster and former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier called the 28-year-olds style an “avalanche going downhill and there is nothing that is going to stop him unless you can knock him out, and I don’t know who can do that outside of maybe champion Jan Blachowicz.”
The 38-year-old current division king has a great deal of respect for Prochazka’s unique striking style. He believes the former RIZIN champion’s odd punching angles are what can be most troublesome for opponents. He also agrees with the assessment of Cormier that he is the guy that can be a stopping point to the avalanche of “madness.”
“He’s a little bit crazy I think, but in a good way,” said Blachowicz. “He will put a lot of pressure on you, throw a lot of punches, and he throws punches from weird angles. I don’t think people understand this, [and] how to block because they don’t see this. In this madness, he is really good. Daniel Cormier is right. If I fight in the future against him I will stop him for sure.”
Jan Blachowicz on Chimaev: ‘On the internet, he’s won all belts in the UFC’
One fighter who has seen a lot of praise (especially from boss Dana White) since last year is Khamzat Chimaev. Part of his growth in popularity has been equal parts performance and confidence. It seems like a month doesn’t go by without the Russian making callouts of top names and claiming he can beat them all. In a recent interview with ESPN, the fighter known for competing at both welterweight and middleweight claimed he could compete with the best light heavyweights in the UFC, and has done well in sparring sessions with elite talent in the division. He was even quoted as saying, “I can beat Blachowicz too.”
When asked about those specific comments from “Borz,” the 205-pound champion was entertained, but made it clear there are big differences between trash talk, sparring and fights.
“On the internet, he’s won all belts in the UFC. Come on, I’ve proven many times that I can beat guys from lower [weight-classes]. I can also talk, and that I can beat everybody in boxing. [Tyson] Fury, if they give me the chance I’ll knock him out [but] who’s going to believe that? Only me I think. He can talk, but sparring and fighting are two different things.”
Blachowicz will return to the Octagon on September 4, at UFC 266, to face fellow ageless wonder Glover Teixeira. The full interview can be found below.Join the discussion on this topic...