Jan Blachowicz gave Luke Rockhold a very rude welcome to the light heavyweight division on Saturday night at UFC 239.
The top 10 ranked contender from Poland sent Rockhold packing with a vicious counter left hook followed by a few more punches on the ground to cement his knockout victory. The end of the fight came at 1:39 in the second round.
“I showed the legendary Polish power. I’m proud of that,” Blachowicz said. “I see this left hook all the time in my dreams in my mentality training. I see this and I knew it would come.
While the result didn’t go his way, Rockhold wasted no time launching an aggressive striking attack in the opening seconds of the fight but rather than stay on the outside with Blachowicz, the former middleweight champion rushed forward looking for the takedown instead.
Blachowicz managed to stay vertical, fighting off the grappling attempts and then bludgeoning Rockhold with a heavy inside elbow that definitely got his attention.
At the sound of the 10-second clapper at the close of the round, the fighters began trading shots and that’s when Blachowicz uncorked a huge kick that wrapped around and blasted Rockhold in the head just as the horn sounded. Rockhold was wobbled badly from the kick before getting back to his corner to recover.
The second round saw more urgency from Rockhold but it’s possible he never quite got past that brain rattling head kick that Blachowicz landed just minutes earlier.
Blachowicz gained confidence with every combination until he timed a perfect counter left hook during an exchange that snapped Rockhold’s head around before sending the former middleweight champion crashing to the canvas. Blachowicz cracked a defenseless Rockhold with a couple of more punches until referee Herb Dean could rush into stop the fight.
The brutal knockout dropped Rockhold to 1-3 in his past four fights while Blachowicz got back on track following a loss to Thiago Santos earlier this year.
“There was rumors if he won against me, he was going to get a title shot,” Blachowicz stated after the fight. “I win against him, maybe, who knows.”