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    New champ Jan Blachowicz wants former UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones

    Sep 27, 2020
    PHOTO: UFC Twitter

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Poland's Jan Blachowicz stopped Dominick Reyes late in the second round at UFC 253 on Sunday to claim the light heavyweight title vacated by Jon Jones.

    The 37-year-old Blachowicz (27-8) capped his late-career surge by winning his first UFC title on Fight Island, the mixed martial arts promotion's bubble performance venue in the Middle East.

    After controlling most of the action in a slow first round, Blachowicz abruptly ended it when he landed a high left hook to the side of Reyes' head. Reyes wobbled, stumbled and fell, and Błachowicz promptly finished him on the ground with 24 seconds left in the round.

    Blachowicz is the first fighter other than Jones or Daniel Cormier to hold the UFC light heavyweight title since 2011, when Jones began his rocky reign.

    Jones vacated his belt three times during the ensuing nine years for doping offenses and criminal misbehaviors, but always reclaimed it. But he voluntarily relinquished the title earlier this year after lengthy negotiations over the future of his career with the UFC, apparently receiving the financial incentive to move to heavyweight.

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    But Jones doesn't have a fight booked at heavyweight, and Blachowicz isn't buying the move.

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    "Only one man is in my mind," Blachowicz said. "Jon Jones, where are you? Don't be a quitter. This is how we do it in Poland. I'm waiting for you."

    Blachowicz is a six-year UFC veteran from Poland who earned this title shot with three straight wins, including stoppages of former champion Luke Rockhold and Corey Anderson.

    Reyes is a former college football player from Southern California who worked in construction and in computer tech support at a high school before picking up MMA. He only recently devoted himself to the sport full-time, but his 12-0 start to his career landed him a title shot at Jones in February.

    Jones won their matchup by decision, but most observers thought Reyes had nearly pulled off the monumental upset.


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      PHOTO: UFC Twitter
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