UFC Light Heavyweight
Photo By Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

UFC Light Heavyweight Division Breakdown: Who Is For Real?

The UFC light heavyweight division is one of the weaker divisions in the company in my opinion. When I look down the list there are only two, maybe three fighters who could possibly challenge Jan Blachowicz for the belt.

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Champion: Jan Blachowicz

The man’s resume speaks for itself. In the last 24 months, Blachowicz has logged wins over Israel Adesanya, Ronaldo Souza, Corey Anderson, Dominick Reyes, and Luke Rockhold He beat Dominick Reyes at UFC 253 to get the light heavyweight belt, and ever since then he has looked unstoppable. The power this man has in his fists is scary. He lands 50% of his significant strikes, which for a light heavyweight is wild. If his opponent wants to take the fight to the ground, no problem, Blachowicz can just use his elite wrestling to tire them out or submit them. He has 9 submissions in his 28 pro wins, which again, is insanely impressive for a man his size.

#1 Light Heavyweight Contender: Glover Teixeira

When you think of power, you think of Glover Teixeira. His 17 knockouts do not even tell the whole story of how hard this dude hits. Not only does Teixeira have crazy power, but he also has elite wrestling. He has 8 submission wins in his pro-MMA career. The only problem I see with Teixeira is his age. If he cannot knockout Blachowicz, will he have the stamina to fight for 5 rounds? History will tell you no. He has not fought 25 minutes since losing to Jon Jones in 2014. The other thing that goes along with age, is the deterioration of the chin. Can Teixeira stand in front of Blachowicz and eat shots? Well, the good news is that we will know the answer to all these questions at UFC 266 in September when Teixeira takes on Blachowicz for the belt.

#2 Light Heavyweight Contender: Jiří Procházka

With 25 knockouts in 28 pro-MMA wins, you can tell the dude has cement hands. Procházka most recently dismantled former #1 contender Dominick Reyes earlier this month. The fight, for as short as it lasted, was one of the best so far this year. Procházka showed just how elite he is. His striking is as good as it gets, and his strength is off the charts. In my opinion, Procházka has the best chance at beating Jan Blachowicz. His combination of size, speed, and power may just be the perfect formula to win the belt. Not to mention the iron chin he has. Look out for Procházka to be the next title challenger in the UFC light heavyweight division very soon.

#3 Light Heavyweight Contender: Aleksandar Rakić

I am not fully sold on Aleksandar Rakić as a true contender yet. My main concern with him is the lack of top-tier talent he has fought. The only true contender he has fought is Thiago Santos. I just need to see more activity and more challenges before I can go all-in on Rakić as a potential suitor for a title match. With that being said, I think he has all the tools to be a champion one day. Great power, decent wrestling, and a great motor. He has 9 knockout victories in 14 professional wins. I could see Rakić getting a chance at the title in the next 12 months, but I just need to see more of him.

Who Else Could Win The Belt?

Honestly, maybe only Anthony Smith. Dominick Reyes has not looked good since he got robbed in his fight against Jon Jones and Thiago Santos has not won in 2 years. Anthony Smith, however, is young enough and has enough skills to possibly challenge for the title in the future. I love Anthony Smith, but right now I just do not see him beating any of the top 3 in the division.

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