MMA Preview – Jan Blachowicz vs Luke Rockhold at UFC 239

THE FACTS

When is UFC 239? Sunday 7th July, 2019 – 01:00 (UK)

Where is UFC 239? T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada

What channel is UFC 239? BT Sport Box Office (£19.95)

Where can I stream UFC 239? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT website

For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live on ESPN+ which you can sign up to here!

Are tickets still available for UFC 239? https://www.ufc.com/tickets

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

Luke Rockhold makes his long-awaited return to the octagon and debut at light heavyweight. Everything seems set for a new run at a title as he has recovered from injuries and does not have to worry about a weight cut but he has a big Polish shaped obstacle at the start of his journey in the form of Jan Blachowicz.

The staunch 205er is a very consistent performer but Blachowicz is coming off a devastating loss after a four-fight winning streak. He met the headline act, Thiago Santos back in February and suffered the second knockout of his career. He looks to bounce here back but faces one of his most difficult challenges to date.

Rockhold has only lost three of his last 18 but these were high-profile fights and highlight-reel knockouts which has diluted his past achievements. The losses to Vitor Belfort, Michael Bisping and Yoel Romero in his last outing were huge setbacks but he is one of the most skilled and well-rounded fighters on the roster and we could easily see the best version of him with less weight to cut.

THE PREDICTION

Blachowicz is a solid and powerful striker and an exceptional grappler with high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but Rockhold is better everywhere, on paper. As long as Rockhold can avoid any more damage to the chin he has the speed and technique to pick Blachowicz apart on the feet.

Blachowicz usually relies on his grappling but Rockhold has some of the most underrated grappling in the sport and if he finds top position on the ground he is more than capable of finding the submission despite Blachowicz’ black belt.

Although Blachowicz is extremely durable, a healthy and more powerful Rockhold will be a severe threat on the feet and on the ground. He has all the ability to inflict the necessary damage on the feet and if he can gain top control, there will be little chance of escape for the Pole.

Winner: Rockhold via KO/TKO

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric