The UFC is heading to the Czech Republic, in 2019.
On December 21, the UFC announced their upcoming event in Prague. The main event will be a pivotal light heavyweight clash between Jan Blachowicz and Thiago Santos on Saturday, February 23.
In the span of 12 months, Thiago Santos has fought five times across two divisions, winning four and knocking out three of his opponents. To kick off the year, he finished the now #3 ranked light heavyweight Anthony Smith with a brutal body kick in a battle that earned him ‘Fight of the Night’ honors. His most recent win at UFC 231 was a ‘Performance of the Night’ knockout over the highly-ranked and respected Jimi Manuwa, which allowed Santos to claim the #7 spot in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings.
In front of him in Prague will be Jan Blachowicz, who will walk into this scheduled bout having won his last four. He has defeated the likes of Nikita Krylov, Ilir Latifi and Jimi Manuwa. Blachowicz has nine submissions wins as well as five knockouts; he is the definition of a well-rounded fighter, who has numerous weapons of attack in his arsenal. Blachowicz is currently the #5 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. A victory in Prague would extend his win streak to five, giving him every right to call for a title shot.
With Santos’ breakthrough 2018 and Blachowicz’s impressive win streak, the winner of this contest might be in the running for a shot at the title in the near future.
Steven is a Mixed Martial Arts journalist and analyst from the United Kingdom.