Corey Anderson entered the main event of UFC Fight Night 167 riding high after scoring a knockout over the light heavyweight division’s latest hot new thing in Johnny Walker back at UFC 244. The momentum of that win came to a stunning halt before the end of Round 1 on Saturday night thanks to a brutal right hand from Jan Blachowicz.
Anderson and Blachowicz were battling in a rematch of a September 2015 clash that Anderson dominated for a decision win. This time around, though, both men came into the fight streaking toward a potential shot at light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. But it was Blachowicz who made the statement, ending Anderson’s night with an overhand right followed by a perfunctory hammerfist as Anderson collapsed to the canvas. The end of the fight came at the 3:08 mark of Round 1.
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From the opening bell at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, the fighters mixed it up on the feet. Anderson did not employ his strong wrestling game before coming up short against Blachowicz. After the win, Blachowicz ran to the side of the Octagon facing Jones, who was in attendance in the front row. After flexing his muscles at the champ, Blachowicz left no doubt about what he wanted next.
“I proved that I’m the next contender for a light heavyweight title shot,” Blachowicz said after his win. “Let’s talk about my next opponent, Jon Jones.”
Blachowicz went on to claim Jones had promised him a shot at the belt before telling the champ to pick when and where for a showdown.
“You promised me that on the show when I met you,” Blachowicz said. “You are next. Let’s do this. Tell me when. Give me the place and time.”
With the win, Blachowicz ran his winning streak to three fights, having previously knocked out former middleweight champ Luke Rockhold and taken a decision win over Jacare Souza.