When Jan Blachowicz entered the octagon for UFC 259, he had more than his trainers in his corner; the 38-year-old had the entire country of Poland rooting for him. The Polish fighter has many fans in his native land, and they’ve shown their appreciation for his skills in the past. Let’s look at the fighter’s career, his upset win against a tough opponent, and how his “Polish Power” fans show him love.
Who is Jan Blachowicz?
According to Sherdog.com, Blachowicz is a 35-year-old light heavyweight champion in UFC. He signed with UFC in 2014 after previously competing for Polish promotion Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki, which is the Polish equivalent of UFC. He went 16-2 during his time fighting there. Blachowicz is fiercely loyal to his home country. While he does train in the U.S. from time to time, he prefers to do most of his fight preparation in Poland.
Blachowicz’s strength is performing the rear naked choke, a common UFC hold. He’s won five victories using the hold as part of his nine total career wins by submission. While the rear naked choke is his strongest maneuver, it’s not the only one in his repertoire. Blachowicz is also adept at the armbar, previously winning three consecutive fights using the hold.
Blachowicz had the biggest fight of his career recently against an opponent many fighters have already lost to.
What fans expected from Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya
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MMA Fighting reported Blachowicz was set to take on Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 in a champion versus champion match. Oddsmakers put Adesanya as a 2-1 favorite before the fight, but that meant little to the Polish fighter. Blachowicz defeated Adesanta with a stunning upset.
Prior to the fight, he wasn’t concerned about anything other than focusing on his training and preparation. He said he cherishes the role of the underdog, according to MMA Fighting:
“I’m always the underdog and I always win the fight … It’s really nice. I’m happy. I could be the underdog every time. Maybe after this fight when I win this fight, I believe I will win this fight, maybe after this fight people will start believing in me, respect me and that’s it. But anyways, I don’t care about this.”
He also told a story about someone who similarly believed in Blachowicz, and who profited greatly off of his underdog status:
“A funny story, after I beat [Luke] Rockhold, I was also an underdog there and one guy after the fight came to me and said ‘thank you my friend, because thanks to you I’m a rich man right now’ and I said what happened? He said thanks to me he won $50,000. So it’s nice to hear something like that after that. Maybe right after this fight, someone will win big money also.”
Blachowicz isn’t the only one who believes in his ability to fight. He’s got a lot of his Polish countrymen on his side as well. They were no doubt confident he could beat the seemingly indestructible Adesanya.
Never tell Jan Blachowicz and his ‘Polish Power’ fans the odds
Blachowicz may be something of a long shot against Adesanya, but his fans don’t care. That’s because it seems like he’s carrying the hopes of an entire nation on his back. The Polish native won the UFC light heavyweight title in September 2020, and when he came home he received a hero’s welcome. According to Middle Easy, a “mob of rowdy fans” greeted Blachowicz when he returned following his victory. They adorned him with cheers as their returning champion.
After Blachowicz scored his shocking upset victory, it’s safe to say the welcome from his countrymen this time will make the last one look small by comparison.