Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz bounced back into the win column at UFC on ESPN 36 in Las Vegas, but the victory didn’t come in the manner he would have liked.
Blachowicz took on Austrian contender Aleksandar Rakic in the main event at the UFC Apex, but despite a strong start to the bout, the finish came via injury, rather than as a direct result of the Pole’s power.
Rakic suffered a nasty knee injury after his leg buckled as he backed up after an exchange. It left the Austrian with a likely knee ligament injury, but Blachowicz was just happy to pick up the victory, regardless, and restated his intention to challenge for the 205-pound title once again.
Light heavyweights also featured in the co-main event, as Ryan Spann picked up a first-round submission victory over Ion Cutelaba.
Spann, who told media during the week that he had to “get out of his own way” in order to progress in the UFC, appeared to do just that as he finished the always-aggressive Cutelaba via guillotine choke mid-way through the opening frame.
It was a good night, too, for England’s Davey Grant. The Bishop Auckland bantamweight claimed a third-round knockout of Louis Smolka after an entertaining 135-pound matchup.
Also on the main card, there were decision wins for Katlyn Chookagian and Allan Nascimento, who defeated Amanda Ribas and Jake Hadley, respectively.
And there was a first-round TKO finish for Manuel Torres, whose stoppage of Frank Camacho earned him a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
The night’s other bonus winners were Spann, who claimed the other Performance of the Night award, and Chookagian and Ribas, who earned the Fight of the Night bonus.
UFC on ESPN 36: Official Results
- Jan Blachowicz def. Aleksandar Rakic via TKO (knee injury) – Round 3, 1:11
- Ryan Spann def. Ion Cutelaba via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:22
- Davey Grant def. Louis Smolka via knockout (punch) – Round 3, 0:49
- Katlyn Chookagian def. Amanda Ribas via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Manuel Torres def. Frank Camacho via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:27
- Allan Nascimento def. Jake Hadley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Viviane Araujo def. Andrea Lee via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
- Michael Johnson def. Alan Patrick via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 3:22
- Virna Jandiroba def. Angela Hill via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Tatsuro Taira def. Carlos Candelario via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Andre Petroski def. Nick Maximov via technical submission (anaconda choke) – Round 1, 1:16