Jan Blachowicz vs Luke Rockhold
Saturday, July 06, 2019 – 10:35 PM EDT
Free UFC Pick: Jan Blachowicz
Recommended Sportsbook: 5Dimes +150
If you recall, at the end of 2018 I made several predictions for MMA in 2019. One of those predictions was that Luke Rockhold would not succeed at 205 and I feel like I have to fade him in his first step up to the plate because of that prediction.
Jan is 23-8 and is a finisher. The man has 5 KOs and 9 submissions to his name for a 61% finish rate. His hands are fast and accurate and he is a blackbelt in BJJ. He’s not exactly a small man at 205 either and his wrestling is ever improving. Jan had a rough start to his UFC career but has since made the needed adjustments and rattled off 4 wins in a row before running into Thiago Santos in February. There is no shame in losing to Thiago Santos by KO because basically everybody who’s ever fought him has done just that and Jan gave him hell prior to that loss.
Respect where it’s due, Rockhold is a fantastic martial artist. He is insanely athletic and explosive. His kicks are a nightmare to deal with, his wrestling is solid, and his ground game is opportunistic and offensive. At one point I dare say he may have been the greatest middleweight in the world however he has always had chin issues and as his career has gone on that has gotten the better of him and his ego isn’t letting him make the changes that he needs to make in order to succeed. Luke is 16-4 with an 88% finish rate himself but his last 3 are a brutal KO loss to Michael Bisping where he lost his belt in 2016, a win over faded David Branch who was touching him up, and a BRUTAL KO loss to the most dangerous man at 185 Yoel Romero in February 2018.
Luke took a year off after being KOd stiff by Bisping and then showed the same mistakes and openings against Branch who just had a gap in his wrestling which Luke found and exploited. Yoel had no such weakness and it was just a matter of time before the monster cracked Luke’s chin again. It has been over a year since and Luke is looking for new life at 205 and blames the weight cut for his issues. There may be some truth to this but at 34 the damage is done and his chin will always be glass. Jan has fast hands and has 3 fights to see exactly how you beat Rockhold. The man is smart and I expect him to come in prepared and he has exactly the skill set needed to halt Rockhold’s comeback in its tracks.