Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold made his light heavyweight debut on Saturday on the UFC 239 main card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The Californian didn’t get an easy opponent for his first fight at 205-pounds. Rockhold faced No. 6 ranked Jan Błachowicz.
In the opening round, Rockhold attacked with left kicks in the opening moments. He quickly changed levels and attempted to put Blachowicz on his back. Blachowicz defended the takedown and landed two hard elbows inside the clinch. In the closing seconds of the round, the two got into an exchange with Blachowicz dropping Rockhold with a head kick at the bell.
Rockhold came out aggressive in the second frame and again tried to get the fight to the ground. Blachowicz shook off the takedown attempt and landed a left hook on the break that sent Rockhold crashing to the canvas. Two more left hands landed before referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight.
The win was the biggest of Blachowicz’ career. Leading up to the fight, the two exchanged verbal jabs but Blachowicz said none of that affected him in the least. “The trash talk doesn’t work on me. I’m too old for that. I showed the legendary Polish power and I’m proud of that,” said Blachowicz following the knockout win.
With the impressive victory, Bachowicz hopes it elevates him to the top of the division. He lost to title challenger Thiago Santos in his last outing.
“I hope the win puts me at the top (of the division). There were rumors that if he won against me that he was going to get a title shot. I won against him, so maybe. Who knows,” he said.