The UFC is finalizing a light heavyweight matchup in early 2022 between former champion Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic, multiple sources confirmed to ESPN.
Contracts have not been signed; however, both sides have agreed to the bout, per sources. Once finalized, it will headline a UFC Fight Night event on March 26.
Blachowicz (28-9) is a little more than one month removed from losing his 205-pound championship to Glover Teixeira at UFC 257 in October. The Polish standout claimed the belt in 2020 and began 2021 with a high-profile title defense against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. He lost the belt to Teixeira via second-round submission.
Prior to that loss, Blachowicz had won five in a row and worked his way onto ESPN's Top 10 pound-for-pound list.
Rakic (14-2) is a rising title contender from Austria, who will likely punch his way to a championship bout if he defeats Blachowicz. The 29-year-old is 6-1 since signing with the UFC in 2017, and holds notable wins over former title challengers Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos.
The UFC has not yet announced an official venue for the March 26 event.
The Blachowicz-Rakic pairing was first reported by Ariel Helwani.