When Patrick Cummins won a majority decision victory over Jan Blachowicz in Buffalo, New York, few could have predicted just how crucial that moment would be in UFC history.
The Polish lightweight had just suffered his fourth loss in his last five appearances and, having dropped to 2-4 in the UFC, was in danger of being kicked out of the organization.
Dorota Jurkowska was sitting at her home in Warsaw, frantically trying to save her client’s career in the middle of that April night in 2017, sending a frantic message to UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard.
Besides being Blachowicz’s manager, Jurkowska was also his girlfriend (now engaged) and knew she had to save her career.
Having worked together professionally before the UFC, Jurkowska knew how much he was up for grabs and was determined to do whatever she could.
“Oh my god, I thought he was going to get fired. Seriously, ”Jurkowska told ESPN. “I expected this email to say he was gone.
“I was sending an e-mail [UFC matchmaker] Mick Maynard immediately. We had a lot of emails back and forth that night. It was a very difficult night.
“I pushed them so hard to give Jan one more chance,” Jurkowska added. “I told them Jan was a huge star in Poland and I knew they wanted to organize an event in Poland.
“I told them, ‘He must be on this map!’ This was my last argument not to get him fired.
The event in question took place in the northern city of Gdansk in October of that year and the UFC paired Blachowicz with Devin Clark – an American prospect who was 8-1 in his promising career.
Blachowicz pulled out a standing, hookless, bare-back starter in the second round to shatter the burgeoning prospect’s dreams and, more importantly, save his own career.
“You know the party today,” he told Dan Hardy immediately after. “Take a rest Sunday then Monday, I’m in the gym.”
It would be this mentality that would help Blachowicz record eight wins and lead him to become the UFC light and heavyweight champion on Fight Island against Dominick Reyes.
The astonishing knockout of the heavily-backed Reyes isn’t the first time underprivileged Blachowicz has shaken the status quo. The 38-year-old has been favored to win in just two of his last 10 fights.
Since returning to Warsaw to reunite with longtime coach Robert Jocz, Blachowicz is 8-1 in the UFC and has beaten some of the sport’s biggest names; Jared Cannonier, Luke Rockhold, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Corey Anderson and Reyes have all tasted Polish power firsthand.
Stopping middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 will be an equally difficult task as the Nigerian-born New Zealander is currently undefeated after 20 fights and has 15 knockouts during that time.
In fact, during an interview with BT Sport, Dana White even admitted that the biggest fight he would like to have this year is Adesanya against former lightweight champion Jon Jones.
Blachowicz continues to be overlooked, when his back is against the wall he unleashes the legendary “Polish power” and finds a way to thwart the odds.