Blachowicz earned the eighth win in his last nine fights (and by far the biggest of his career to date) when he defeated Reyes by second-round TKO to become the first fighter outside of Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier since 2011 to raise the UFC light heavyweight championship aloft in Abu Dhabi, and his achievement was very much recognized by Polish fight fans when he arrived home on Monday.
The 37-year-old Blachowicz made a mockery of the bookmakers’ pre-fight predictions at UFC 253, vanquishing the dangerous Reyes with his trademark ‘Polish power’ and making him just the second Polish champion in UFC history.
The video clip shows a clearly delighted Blachowicz mobbed by throngs of fight fans inside the arrivals hall as the new champ showed off his title belt to the adoring cheers of his compatriots.
The reaction of Polish fight fans in the airport was very much mirrored by the country’s other UFC champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who posted her own delighted reaction to her Instagram account.
“He was supposed to fight for this belt so many times, and I feel like he’s ready,” Jedrzejczyk outlined in advance of the contest.
“I know he’s ready. He’s been training so hard. It’s been a while since he fought last, but I think it’s the time. I wish he was fighting Jon Jones, but the fight with Reyes is going to be a very interesting match-up, a very tough fight for both of them.
“Just go. If you feel tired, it doesn’t matter how deep you are in camp, if you feel like your body wants to give up, don’t give up. Go and train, because you must be ready for everything and anything because it’s a championship bout. I know that Jan is a hard worker. He has a real fighter’s soul. He’s a warrior. Jan, go for it. Don’t give up.”
It is unclear whether or not Jedrzejczyk was on hand to welcome Blachowicz home in person, but she had previously stated that she hoped to attend the celebrations upon his return.
“I will wait for him in the airport, or I hope that I can make it to the States to watch him live. I’m super, super happy for him,” she said.