A fight with deep significance to the future of the light heavyweight division headlines in New Mexico
One week after Jon Jones' controversial light heavyweight title defense against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247, another fight will take place at 205 pounds that could determine the next man up to challenge for the belt. In the main event of UFC Fight Night 167 from Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz meet in a rematch of their September 2015 clash.
Anderson (13-4) made a massive statement as a potential title challenger in his most recent victory, a dominant first-round knockout of the heavily-hyped Johnny Walker. The victory ran his winning streak to four, and landed him in the No. 5 spot on the CBS Sports UFC divisional rankings. All but three of Anderson's pro fights have come in the UFC Octagon after making his debut to win the season 19 finals of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Blachowicz (25-8) is riding his own two-fight winning streak, defeating former middleweight champ Luke Rockhold and Jacare Souza, both of whom were making their debut at 205 pounds. The fight with Souza was Blachowicz's most recent, a dreadful bout that saw neither man accomplish much of note across five rounds. The win was good enough to land Blachowicz, who is currently on a 6-1 run in recent fights, at No. 3 in the CBS Sports rankings.
In the co-main event, Diego Sanchez returns to New Mexico to take on Michel Pereira in what may be a show-stealing welterweight fight. Sanchez has fought in the UFC since winning the inaugural "The Ultimate Fighter" season back in 2005. After an up-and-down ride, Sanchez separated from the Jackson Wink team and staked out on his own. Pereira fights with a wild style that sees him throw a variety of high-flying strikes and even manage to incorporate flips as well as other bizarre attacks into his game plan. That style cost him in his last fight, though, losing a unanimous decision to Tristan Connelly who was a late-notice underdog opponent at UFC Fight Night 158 this past September.
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Here's the fight card for UFC Fight Night 167 with the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook.
UFC Fight Night 167 card, oddsFavoriteUnderdogWeightclass
Corey Anderson -220
Jan Blachowicz +180
Michel Pereira -160
Diego Sanchez +135
Montana De La Rosa -170
Mara Romero Borella +145
Brok Weaver -270Rodrigo Vargas +220LightweightRay Borg -150Rogerio Bontorin +125
FlyweightYancy Medeiros -110Lando Vannata -110LightweightUFC Fight Night 167 viewing information
Date: Feb. 15 | Start time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Santa Ana Star Center -- Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Corey Anderson vs. Jan Blachowicz: Anderson's win over Blachowicz five years ago plays little into where either man stands in 2020. That said, Anderson retains some significant edges over Blachowicz. While Anderson's knockout of Walker was splashy, his wrestling game remains a very big strength for his game, and Blachowicz was troubled by Souza's game plan of almost straight wrestling. Anderson is a bigger man than Souza, and will likely engage on more fronts than Jacare did in that fight with Blachowicz, which gives him the slight edge. Pick: Anderson via UD