Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz says he requested a fight against Alex Pereira, and the promotion has promised him a title shot if he wins.
Blachowicz and Pereira are set to meet at UFC 291 on July 29 in Salt Lake City. The fight will be a middleweight bout, but Blachowicz is hoping to make a statement and earn a shot at the light heavyweight title.
“I asked for this fight,” Blachowicz said in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I want to fight the best guys, and I think Alex Pereira is one of the best guys in the world. He’s a dangerous striker, and I’m excited to test my skills against him.”
The winner of the Blachowicz-Pereira fight could be next in line for a title shot at 205 pounds. The current light heavyweight champion is Jamahal Hill, who is scheduled to defend his title against Jiri Prochazka at a later date this year.
“I’m confident that I’m going to win this fight,” Blachowicz said. “I’m going to show everyone that I’m still the best light heavyweight in the world.”
Blachowicz is coming off a split draw to Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282 in December 2022. He lost the fight by unanimous decision. Blachowicz has won six of his last seven fights prior to the recent split draw, and he is looking to get back on track with a win over Pereira.