Weekend Warrior: UFC Contenders Jan Blachowicz and Thiago Santos Collide in Prague

Jan Blachowicz. Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

Upward trajectory set Jan Blachowicz and Thiago Santos on a collision course at 205 pounds.

The two light heavyweight contenders will collide in the UFC Fight Night 145 headliner on Saturday at the O2 Arena in Prague, as the Ultimate Fighting Championship touches down in the Czech Republic for the first time in its history. Meanwhile, the 6-foot-11 Stefan Struve takes on Marcos Rogerio de Lima in the three-round heavyweight co-main event.

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Blachowicz, 35, enters the cage on a four-fight winning streak. The former KSW champion last competed at UFC Fight Night 136, where he submitted Nikita Krylov with a second-round arm-triangle choke in September. Blachowicz holds the rank of black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has secured 14 of his 23 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.

Jan Blachowicz punches Jimi Manuwa. Photo: Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

A quarterfinalist on Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, Santos has rattled off three straight wins since being knocked out by former two-division World Series of Fighting champion David Branch some 10 months ago. The 35-year-old Tata Fight Team representative last appeared at UFC 231 on Dec. 8, 2018, when he put away Jimi Manuwa with punches and emerged from their firefight with his hand raised. Santos has eight first-round finishes to his credit.

UFC Fight Night “Blachowicz vs. Santos”—which streams live to ESPN Plus at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT—also features a women’s flyweight clash matching Liz Carmouche with Lucie Pudilova, a bantamweight tilt pitting John Dodson against Petr Yan and a pair of light heavyweight battles, as Gian Villante meets Michal Oleksiejczuk and Magomed Ankalaev faces Klidson Farias de Abreu. ESPN 2 will air the entire seven-fight undercard at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT. It includes a welterweight showdown between Michel Prazeres and promotional newcomer Israil Naurdiev, with the Brazilian shooting for a ninth consecutive victory.

Thiago Santos. Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

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Elsewhere, the Legacy Fighting Alliance once again holds sway over the regional mixed martial arts scene, as Brendan Allen defends his middleweight championship against Moses Murrietta in the LFA 61 headliner on Friday at the Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, Minnesota. AXS-TV airs the event live at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

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