The UFC’s latest numbered event means its vaunted Embedded series is back, with the first episode released late on Monday showing fighters arriving in Abu Dhabi for this week’s UFC 267.
The behind-the-scenes fight week series, which typically comes in six parts, will chart the week’s activities in the build-up to Saturday’s hotly anticipated event at Etihad Arena.
In Episode 1, the cameras follow light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz and family as he touches down in the capital. The powerful Pole, who captured the title at UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi 13 months ago, faces No 1-ranked contender Glover Teixeira in the weekend's headline bout. It’s one of two title bouts on the night.
Embedded shows Blachowicz is glad to return to the scene of last year's triumph on Yas Island, although his personal circumstances have changed somewhat. This time, he can be seen performing daddy duties at the hotel pool having become a father for the first time earlier this year.
However, he still has Saturday's action on his mind.
“I like to be in this place where all fighters are, because you see the atmosphere,” Blachowicz tells the camera poolside. “You start watching each other, so you feel the adrenalin, the atmosphere, everybody looking at you, you looking at them, so you start feeling a little bit this pressure - and I like this feeling.
“In the morning I met Glover. That’s good, I say, 'Hello' and that’s it. There’s no bad blood between us. Of course when we go to the cage, to the title, we do our jobs.”
Blachowicz adds with a laugh: “So I hope in the cage there will be a lot of blood … his blood.”
UFC 267 also includes the interim bantamweight title encounter between former champion Petr Yan and No 3-ranked contender Cory Sandhagen. Sandhagen, Teixeira and strawweight Amanda Ribas are also featured on the first Embedded installment.