‘Sad’ Jan Blachowicz withdraws from Aleksandar Rakic fight at UFC 297, Jiri Prochazka chimes in
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz needs surgery and was forced to withdraw from his upcoming Aleksandar Rakic rematch, previously scheduled for the UFC 297: “Strickland vs. Du Plessis” pay-per-view (PPV) event on Sat., Jan. 20, 2024 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
“It wasn’t supposed to be this way,” Blachowicz wrote on social media. “It’s hard to express how I feel because it’s a mixture of anger and sadness. Withdrawing from a fight due to injury is one of the most difficult decisions a fighter can make. However, sometimes there is no other option, especially when you are competing in the Top 5 and want to put on a show at the highest possible level. Instead of fighting for the best shape, I fight with the pain during every training session. I did everything I could, but my shoulders need surgery. In this state, continuing preparations and entering the Octagon would be irresponsible and stupid.”
Rakic had little sympathy for his ailing 205-pound rival and quickly set his sights on former light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka, who “Rocket” hates for reasons not quite understood.
“You can never lose a rematch when you pull out for the second time,” Rakic wrote on Twitter. “Legendary Bullsh*t. Let’s see if the ‘Samurai’ has the balls to step up on Jan 20th.”
“I am in,” Prochazka replied. “But the earliest time I can be in Octagon is February-March. Accept?”
The promotion has yet to make an official announcement regarding the UFC 297 fight card (see it here) but you can expect matchmakers to begin working on a “Polish Power” replacement sooner, rather than later.