UFC Vegas 54: Blachowicz vs Rakic may not be a title night, but championship implications headline the night with two top contenders on the card. At the UFC APEX in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 14, 2022, former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz looks to preserve his place in line for a shot at redemption.
In a title eliminator, he’ll battle third-ranked Aleksandar Rackic who has won his last two bouts. Supporting the middle of the main card is a women’s flyweight eliminator with No.1 Katlyn “Blonde Fighter” Chookagian facing No.9 Amanda Ribas. This is going to be a Fight Night you don’t want to miss. Read below for the full card and odds, plus a preview of the main event.
Watch UFC Vegas 54: Blachowicz vs Rakic
- When: Saturday, May 14, 2022
- Prelims Start Time: 7:30 p.m. EST / 4:30 p.m. PST
- Main Card Start Time: 10 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. PST
- Location: UFC APEX – Las Vegas, Nevada
- How to Watch: ESPN2, ESPN+
A solid card from start to finish, UFC Vegas 54 will feature top-15 fighters, stretching from the preliminary card to the main card. No.12 Virna “Carcara” Jandiroba will look to bounce back from her October loss to Ribas, facing Angela “Overkill” Hill who lost to Amanda Lemos in December.
Their bout helps bolster the preliminary card that is headlined by women’s flyweights No.8 Viviane “Vivi” Araujo and No.9 Andrea “KGB” Lee. Serving as the night’s co-headliner is the light heavyweight match between No.13 Ryan “Superman” Spann who will fight the smaller Ion “The Hulk” Cutelaba.
Blachowicz vs Rakic Preview
In August 2020, Jon Jones vacated the UFC light heavyweight title, following a financial feud with the UFC and interest in moving up to heavyweight. That following month, a title eliminator bout between Blachowicz (28-9-0) and then top-ranked contender Dominick Reyes turned into a fight for the light heavyweight hardware. Blachowicz emerged victorious, earning him his first title in the UFC.
The following spring, Blachowicz defended his status from Israel Adesanya’s attempt to become a two-division champion. Then, in a fight between seasoned veterans, Blachowicz’s reign came to an end last October when he was submitted by Glover Teixeira. (Teixeira recently spoke with AAMMA about the fight which you can watch here.) The loss now has him on the path for a title shot once again.
4️⃣2️⃣ seconds is all @Rakic_UFC needed 🚀
[ #UFCVegas54 | Saturday | LIVE on ESPN2 & @ESPNPlus ] pic.twitter.com/ea0frgHBzo
— UFC (@ufc) May 10, 2022
Blachowicz has had an extremely successful run in the UFC since finding his footing in 2017. Over the last five years, his record is 9-3, including two winning streaks of four or more contests. Moreso, he displayed knockout power more recently that wasn’t very present early in his career. On Saturday night, he’ll face a larger opponent in Rakic (14-2–0) who is more of a knockout fighter but has shown prowess to earn decisions as well.
Though he doesn’t fight as often as other contenders, Rakic has climbed the ranks. With just seven UFC bouts under his belt, his record is an impressive 6-1, and he enters Saturday coming off of back-to-back wins over Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos, both by decision.
Eight years Blachowicz’s junior, Rakic is the favorite at the betting window, drawing -190 compared to +160 for his opponent. The result expected by the sportsbooks is Rackic winning by decision (+200), followed by Rakic winning in the first round tied with Blachowicz winning by decision each at +450.
UFC Vegas 54 Fight Card & Odds
- #1 Jan Blachowicz (+160) vs #3 Aleksandar Rakic (-190) – Light Heavyweight
- #13 Ryan Spann (+185) vs Ion Cutelaba (-225) – Light Heavyweight
- Davey Grant (-300) vs Louis Smolka (+235) – Bantamweight
- #1 Katlyn Chookagian (-180) vs #9 Amanda Ribas (+155) – Women’s Flyweight
- Frank Camacho (+105) vs Manuel Torres (-125) – Lightweight
- Jake Hadley (-220) vs Allan Nascimento (+180) – Flyweight
- #8 Viviane Araujo (+100) vs #9 Andrea Lee (-120) – Women’s Flyweight
- Michael Johnson (-145) vs Alan Patrick (+125) – Lightweight
- #12 Virna Jandiroba (-190) vs #13 Angela Hill (+160) – Women’s Strawweight
- Tatsuro Taira (-240) vs Carlos Candelario (+195) – Flyweight
- Nick Maximov (-350) vs Andre Petroski (+270) – Middleweight