Exclusive: Jon Anik Explains Why Blachowicz vs. Pereira Shouldn’t Be A Title Fight, Comments On Interim Matches

Jon Anik gave his honest opinion on Blachowicz vs. Pereira and the complicated situation in the 205-pound division that leads to possible interim title fights.

Jon Anik Talk Jan Vs Alex
Jon Anik Talk Jan Vs Alex - Image credit @janblachowicz Instagram
  • Jon Anik is totally fine with Jan Blachowicz vs. Alex Pereira being a title eliminator fight
  • The UFC commentator thoroughly discussed Jamahal Hill and Jiri Prochazka’s situation as well as the possibility of an interim title fight

Veteran UFC commentator Jon Anik doesn’t see the need to upgrade the upcoming title eliminator fight between Jan Blachowicz and Alex Pereira at UFC 291 to an interim title fight. He also shared his insights about the situation of Jamahal Hill and how most fans view interim title fights.

Nothing should be Changed

In an exclusive interview with Middle Easy, Anik candidly stated that Blachowicz vs. Pereira is already important as it is. The way Anik sees it, it’s only right that Prochazka or Hill, depending on who recovers first, should be the other half of the next light heavyweight title fight.

“I don’t think it should be and maybe the promotion is going to reverse course and it’s not as though my opinion always has to dovetail with what the UFC is doing but no, I mean, I think you just leave it as is,” Anik said on if Blachowicz vs. Pereira should be an interim title fight. “The stakes are high, extremely high, it’s a title eliminator, it’s scheduled for three rounds and perhaps that will better align with Jiri Prochaska’s calendar.”

“It’s certainly disappointing that Jamal Hill is no longer going to be the champion here as soon as this belt is put on the line but if Prochazka doesn’t fight the rest of this year and you really would like to have Prochazka or Jamahal Hill be a part of this next title fight right in a perfect world,” he added. “So I think you let this marinate, you keep the stakes the way they are and the winner of this fight, fights Jiri Prochazka December 2023 or January 2024.”

Jamahal’s call is hard to Decipher

As for Hill’s decision to vacate the light heavyweight title, Anik said that it’s difficult to understand as he doesn’t have an idea about how things work within the UFC in such cases. However, he just concluded that those injuries were too serious for both champs to end up in leaving and agreeing to have an interim title match.

“It’s interesting. I don’t know what all goes into it. I don’t know how hard he fought to say, ‘Hey, I can be back in 12 months and do an interim please,’” Anik pointed out. “I just don’t know how all that works in terms of the financials but these were obviously two major injuries – for Jiri Prochazka, the shoulder and Jamahal Hill, the Achilles and I think the circumstances were such that they just felt like they needed to strongly push the champion in this direction.”

“In terms of like semantics, Jamahal Hill is actually still the champion and won’t be the former champion until the belt is put on the line but it is interesting because historically, there have been plenty of instances in which they’ve gone the other direction where a champion just sits and they do an interim belt so yeah, I feel like Jamahal is going to be out a long time and achilles rehab is pretty substantial and that’s why they went in this direction but he said the UFC is going to take care of him… I don’t know exactly what that means financially or otherwise surgery or otherwise but yeah, it’s just crazy, man,” he added.

Fans are not fond of interim title fights

Anik went on and admitted that each UFC champion’s situation is different and it’s hard to tell how the promotion figures out if there’s a need to do interim matches. What Anik is sure about is that most people he talked to about it weren’t in favor of the idea.

“Well, it’s not a game of equality and neither is my business, sports broadcasting right. I mean we have certain champions like Aljamain Sterling who might be sort of rushed to a date and then there are other champions like Leon Edwards who maybe get to call the shots in terms of their timeline,” Anik began.

“I don’t know if you can do standardized procedure,” he continued. “I think the fight game is such that you need to have the wiggle room promotionally to use the interim belts not to leverage them but just to use them and again like I love the fact that Yair Rodriguez has an interim championship belt at home like is that such a bad thing because most people disagree with me on this, it’s not that they bemoan the fact that Yair or Dustin Poirier or Justin Gaethje, all worthy guys have these interim belts, it’s just they don’t like it when sometimes there’s a frequency with which they’re on the line in a given 12 months… A lot of people are very anti-interim belt.”

There’s still no concrete timeframe as to when Hill and Prochazka would make their return. The winner between Blachowicz and Pereira will compete for the title but whether it is for interim or not is still up in the air.

Published on July 22, 2023 at 2:06 pm
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