Jan Blachowicz defeated Dominick Reyes at UFC 253 on September 27, 2020, to become the light heavyweight champion, after Jon Jones vacated the belt the make a run at heavyweight. In a behind-the-scenes documentary ahead of UFC 253, “Prince of Cieszyn” revealed a hopefully one-of-a-kind pre-fight ritual.
GSP used to tweak his nipples in the Octagon. Matt Lindland wouldn't shower for a week. Jones used to get blackout drunk a week before. Clay Guida gets slapped hard by his large brother Jason. None of that is remotely close to being as weird as what Blachowicz does.
Long ago the fighter was walking his dog in the forest in his hometown of Warsaw, Poland, and found a man who had hanged himself. Now, for luck, he goes into the forest and touches the rope left there. The rope of a suicide victim is apparently considered good luck in some parts; the idea was broached when an investigating police officer asked Blachowicz if he had taken part of the rope.
“'When you find a hanged man, you take his rope for luck. That’s what people believed in the old days,'" Blachowicz recalled being told by the officer, as transcribed by Steven Marrocco for MMA Fighting. “I checked the internet, and sure enough, that is exactly what people thought and believed in. If you don’t believe me, check for yourself. ... 90 percent success rate since I started doing this."
Blachowicz didn’t keep the rope. That would be weird. Instead, he left it in the woods, and goes there to touch it for luck. However, the champ was concerned that someone might find and steal his lucky rope, so now he's cut off a piece, and turned it into a lucky bracelet with a golden wolf's head clasp.
Very important #UFC259 update: The champ officially has his lucky hangman's rope on him for fight week. Jan says he cut off a big piece and had it turned into a bracelet, in case someone stole the original. Gold piece is a wolf.— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) February 24, 2021
Adjust your betting lines accordingly. pic.twitter.com/0hXvtgeTIr
Blacjowicz superfights middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 259 on March 6 in Las Vegas. The oddsmakers have Adesanya a strong favorite, but probably didn't factor in the lucky suicide rope.