UFC on ESPN 36: Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksander Rakic Picks and Predictions

Aleksander Rakic vs. Jan Blachowicz

UFC: Saturday, May 14th at 10:00 PM ET

The Line: -- Aleksander Rakic -200 / Jan Blachowicz +160 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Jan Blachowicz and Aleksander Rakic face off on Saturday in a light heavyweight showdown in the main event of UFC on ESPN 36 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Blachowicz is currently ranked 1st in the UFC in the light heavyweight division while Rakic is ranked 3rd. 

Jan Blachowicz comes into this fight with a 28-9 record overall, and he had won five fights in a row before losing the last fight. Against Glover Teixeria in October of 2021, he actually didn’t look terrible, but in the second round, he was put in a bad position, and finished by a rear-naked choke. Two fights ago against Israel Adesanya, Blachowicz outstruck his opponent 107-78 and that was enough to win by unanimous decision. The two previous wins before that were knockouts. Blachowicz is averaging 3.59 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.79 significant strikes per minute. He is averaging 1.14 takedowns every 15 minutes and he is successful on 53 percent of the takedown attempts. He also stops 66 percent of his opponent's takedown attempts. 

On the other side of this matchup is Aleksander Rakic who sits with a 14-2 record overall and he has won two fights in a row. In Rakic’s last game against Thiago Santos, he was actually outstruck 49-36 but still secured the unanimous decision victory. Rakic is averaging 4.23 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.23 significant strikes per minute. Rakic is averaging 0.75 takedowns every 15 minutes and he is successful on 25 percent of his takedown attempts. Rakic also stops 90 percent of his opponent's takedown attempts. Each of the last two wins by Rakic has been by unanimous decision, and the last loss was back in 2019 by a split decision. 

There is so much on the line for both of the fighters heading into this fight, and the winner will probably get a shot at the title. Blachowicz looked awful in his last fight against Teixeria, but what he did before that was quite impressive. Against Adesanya, Blachowicz looked dominant, and I think he goes back to that fighting style here. Blachowicz has fought the tougher fighters heading into this one. Rakic is going to find success here in not getting knocked out, but he isn’t going to do enough to win. Back Blachowicz by decision. 

Shane’s Pick Jan Blachowicz by decision

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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