Sat, 04 Dec 2021

Jan Blachowicz defends belt, Petr Yan seeks redemption at UFC 267

Field Level Media
28 Oct 2021, 07:19 GMT+10

Two championships will be decided in the top bouts at Saturday's UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi.

Light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz (28-8) of Poland will defend his title against longtime contender Glover Teixeira (32-7) of Danbury, Conn., in the show's main event. The co-feature will determine an interim bantamweight champion, as Russia's Petr Yan squares off against Colorado's Cory Sandhagen.

The winner of five straight bouts, the heavy-handed Blachowicz looks to make the second defense of his 205-pound belt. He last competed at UFC 259, when he earned a unanimous decision over middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya in a champion vs. champion bout.

Teixeira, who turns 42 on Thursday, is on a remarkable run. He's been with the UFC since 2012 and lost in a challenge to then-champ Jon Jones in 2014. Teixeira has won five consecutive matchups in a win streak which dates back to 2019, with three submission finishes along the way.

In the second-billed bout, Yan (15-2) will look to regain a version of the title he held until March.

The former bantamweight champion from Russia became the first UFC fighter ever to lose a title by disqualification when he walloped a downed Aljamain Sterling in the head with an illegal knee during a bout Yan was winning handily in the fourth round at UFC 259.

Yan and Sterling were scheduled to rematch on this card, but Sterling pulled out after rehab from neck surgery went longer than expected.

The UFC has been criticized for being too fast with the trigger on interim belts, but in this case, with no real timeline for a return, the call seems correct. Yan will face Sandhagen (14-3), who has won two of his past three.

The main card will air on ESPN beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern time, making this the first numbered UFC event broadcast live on a platform other than pay-per-view since UFC 138 in 2011.

--Field Level Media

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