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Jan Blachowicz: Dominick Reyes had his chance, ‘now it’s my turn’ to fight Jon Jones

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If there was a question about Jon Jones’ next title defense, Jan Blachowicz believes he answered it with his first-round knockout against Corey Anderson.

Just seven days removed from Jones’ razor-close victory over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247, Blachowicz put on a statement performance by stopping Anderson at just over three minutes into the fight. Not only did the Polish veteran avenge a prior loss but he also got Jones’ attention with the reigning light heavyweight champion sitting cage side for the event in his adopted hometown in New Mexico.

Following Jones’ win over Reyes, all the talk was about an immediate rematch. Blachowicz then injected himself into the conversation by finishing Anderson, which moved him to 7-1 in his past eight fights and he believes that should be more than enough to get the next crack at Jones’ belt.

“It’s my turn,” Blachowicz told MMA Fighting. “Thiago [Santos] had his chance. Dominick had his chance. Now it’s my turn. Now I’m next in line. I should be the next contender for the title shot and I will be. I believe in that.

“They had their chance but they don’t use it. I’m going to use it. I’m going to win. I’m going to be the guy that beats Jon Jones.”

While Blachowicz has never been recognized as one of the sport’s best trash talkers, he seized a golden opportunity with the knockout and then confronting Jones, who was sitting just a few feet away from the Octagon in the front row.

As soon as he entered the arena, Blachowicz was aware that Jones was in attendance and as soon as the referee jumped into save Anderson, he immediately began scanning around the cage to find Jones.

“I knew he was over there,” Blachowicz said. “After the fight, I just knew I had to find him. I did that really quickly and I started my negotiation for the next fight in the Octagon.

“I just told him he is next. Let’s go, let’s do this. You are next. Everything happening in my head was so crazy.”

For a long time it appeared that Jones had all but eliminated all of his competition at 205 pounds but now there are legitimately two contenders who can make a compelling argument for a title shot.

Reyes truly believes he beat Jones the first time and a whole lot of people agree with him.

Unfortunately, Blachowicz is not one of them. He watched the fight that night and while Blachowicz gives Reyes credit for keeping it close, ultimately he still believes Jones won.

“We watched the fight,” Blachowicz explained. “It was one week before so we sat in the hotel and watched the fight. It was a really close fight, really good fight. Dominick Reyes made a really good challenge but Jones was better. A little bit but better.

“We watched with my two coaches and my one friend and everybody said the same that it was a good fight, really close, but Jon was a little bit better.”

Because Jones has expressed interest in facing new challenges, Blachowicz is more than ready to answer the call and book the title fight as soon as the champion is ready.

Blachowicz isn’t going to make any wild predictions just seeking to anger Jones. but there’s a quiet confidence surrounding the 36-year-old contender that he truly believes he can get the job done where every opponent before him has failed.

“I wait for this all my life,” Blachowicz said. “I have a lot of travel in my UFC [career]. I was down, now I’m back on the top. I’m ready mentally and physically. All my body is ready for Jon Jones. He cannot break me. I will break him.

“I’m a hard matchup for everyone in the world. I believe in my skills. I know that I can be the best in the world. It’s going to be a tough fight for him. Also for me, I know that, but still I want to do this and still I believe I can beat him.”

As for Reyes, Blachowicz has an idea in mind to keep him busy since in his estimation there won’t be an immediate rematch with Jones awaiting him.

“I can be the matchmaker right now if you want,” Blachowicz explained. “I’ll fight Jon Jones for the title belt. Dominick Reyes can fight against Thiago Santos and who win this fight can fight against me next for the title shot.”

His only parting words for Jones was a direct message that he hopes the light heavyweight champion receives post-haste.

“Jon Jones, what can I say to you, I’m ready,” Blachowicz stated. “You’re going to be ready. Let’s go. Let’s do this. Give me the time and give me the place.”