UFC star Jan Blachowicz has made a key change for his upcoming title fight against Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282.
Former light heavyweight champion Blachowicz is scheduled to take on top-ranked heavyweight contender Ankalaev in the headlining bout of the final UFC pay-per-view of the year on Dec. 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. He will look to reclaim the title he lost to Glover Teixeira in Oct. 2021, whereas Ankalaev will target the gold and extend his dominant nine-fight win streak.
Ahead of the nearing clash, ‘Legendary Polish Power’ revealed that he was training under a new head coach, Anzor Azhiev, to get ready for the crucial title shot.
“My (previous) coach left the gym and another coach replaced him,” Blachowicz said in the UFC 282 countdown video uploaded to YouTube. “I’m happy because of the new energy. But the most important change for me is the commitment. Now I feel that the new coach has got the commitment.”
“He knows me very well; how I move, what is my best weapon, and I’m just going to be a better fighter.”
Azhiev shared their prior experience working together and assured some unique things were in the works.
“I’ve actually been coaching Jan for years, but I only focused on wrestling,” said Azhiev. “So it’s not our first collaboration. We’re definitely changing some things and we use a different approach rather than just doing the regular stuff.”
Blachowicz Is Ready To Be Champion Again
In Sep. 2020, Blachowicz found himself in a similar spot when he took on former title challenger Dominick Reyes for the vacant undisputed 205-pound title. He handily dispatched Reyes in the second round to become only the second-ever Polish champion in UFC history, after former strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and the first male victor from the area.
He defended his title successfully against former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in Mar. 2021 before dropping the belt to Teixeira.
The 39-year-old Pole has not forgotten how it feels and is ready to get the crown again.
“For me, it was a dream come true. You know I did this all my life. Finally, I was on top of this mountain. My dreams came true. Of course, I’m ready to be the champion again. It’s the best feeling ever.”
Blachowicz Praised Ankalaev as a Tough Fight
Blachowicz believes he has a tough fight in store ahead and praised Ankalaev as a potential future champion.
“I know that Ankalaev exists, I saw his fights. I know that he’s a good fighter, very tough. In the future, he can be a contender for the belt. But now, I am someone who has to stop him because he wants to take something that I want.”
“Ankalaev – I can knock him out, I can submit him. I’m going to be the winner.”
As for Ankalaev, he’s confident he will continue his impressive run with a commanding performance.
“At UFC 282 in my fight against Jan Blachowicz, I will be dominating the whole fight and I’m going to win in a dominant manner.”