Sources: Former champion Jan Blachowicz to return in March against Aleksandar Rakic

The UFC is close to finalizing a light heavyweight showdown in early 2022 between former champion Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic, multiple sources confirmed to ESPN.

The contracts have not been signed, however both parties agreed to the fight according to sources. Upon completion, the match will headline a UFC Fight Night event on March 26.

Blachowicz (28-9) is just over a month away from losing his 205-pound championship to Glover Teixeira at UFC 257 in October. The standout Pole won the belt in 2020 and started 2021 with a high-profile title defense against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya; lost the belt to Teixeira via submission in the second round.

Before that loss, Blachowicz had won five fights in a row and made his way onto ESPN’s top 10 pound-for-pound list.

Rakic ​​(14-2) is a rising title contender from Austria, who will likely make his way to a championship fight if he defeats Blachowicz. The 29-year-old is 6-1 since signing with the UFC in 2017, and has notable wins over former title challengers Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos.

The UFC has yet to announce an official location for the March 26 event. The Blachowicz-Rakic ​​fight was first reported by Ariel Helwani.