Multiple people with knowledge of negotiations told MMA Fighting that while the fight has not been finalized, all sides have agreed in principle to the matchup, which was first reported by Ariel Helwani. Blachowicz first teased the potential bout with Rakic during Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
Blachowicz is less than two months removed from the loss of his title, which came at UFC 267 opposite Glover Teixeira in a bout he lost via second-round submission. Prior to that, the Polish vet had won five straight fights that included a bout for the vacant title against Dominick Reyes and a defense against middleweight champ Israel Adesanya.
Rakic, meanwhile, has been in queue for a title shot since a March win over one-time title challenger Thiago Santos. The Austrian fighter has won six of his past seven to climb into title contention.
The news isn’t as good for one-time title challenger Anthony Smith, who called out Rakic for a rematch after a submission win over Ryan Spann. Rakic accepted, but Smith was waylaid by a knee injury and hoped the UFC would wait to book the rematch.
Instead, the promotion is moving on as champ Teixeira is expected to take on No. 1 contender Jiri Prochazka, who was an alternate for the UFC 267 title fight and said he’s waiting for the UFC to book a date.