MMAFighting- Jan Blachowicz’s behind-the-scenes documentary for UFC 253 reveals one of most unique – and unsettling – pre-fight rituals ever described by a fighter.
The UFC light heavyweight said he regularly returns to a forest in his hometown of Warsaw, Poland, to touch the rope used by a man he found who’d hanged himself. According to Blachowicz, the rope is a good luck charm that’s had “a 90 percent success rate since I started doing this.”
Blachowicz doesn’t say when he found the man, whom he encountered while walking his dog and initially mistook for alive. He said when he called authorities, a police officer on the scene asked if he took part of the rope used to hang the man.
“‘When you find a hanged man, you take his rope for luck,” Blachowicz remembers of the officer’s reaction. “‘That’s what people believed in the old days.’ 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.”
Blachowicz wasn’t entirely comfortable taking a piece of the rope. So he compromised, returning to the forest before every fight to touch it.
Uhhhh - what? Excuse me? Dafuq? Srsly?
Listen, I want to be as respectful as possible here, because this obviously all surrounds the incredibly heavy topic of suicide, but anyone else think this is just a biiiit strange? Like, super fucking insane on so many levels?! I mean, I'm speechless.
If I ever found a hanged man in the forest (knock on wood), I'd imagine it would be one of the more horrifying and unnerving moments of my entire life. I don't think I'd want to remind myself of that moment constantly, to the level of RETURNING TO THE SCENE to grab the fuckin noose the guy was on for special powers!
MMAFighting goes on to write that there IS validity to people once believing that the rope of a hanged man was good luck, writing:
“In the 1880s, it was apparently not unusual for Parisian medical students to sell bits of the rope that were still attached around the necks of suicides brought into the hospitals,” according to the paper “Executing Magic in the Modern Era: Criminal Bodies and the Gallows in Popular Medicine,” which was published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. “One report tells of a piece given to a chemist’s assistant in Amiens, who then went on to win one hundred thousand francs in a lottery.”
“There was huge demand in Paris for hanging rope as a lucky charm, it reported, noting that French gamblers and the superstitious had to rely on suicides for pieces,” the paper adds.
If you're askin me, I feel like maybe that's a superstition that shoulda been left in the past, but Blachowicz SWEARS by the ritual, and says he's got a 90% success rate with it, so whatever works!
Jan also mentions that he's brought the UFC production crew back to that spot in the forest before to tell them the story, but says they've never used the footage. Uhhhh yeah dude, Uncle Dana ain't in the business of giving out paranormal nightmares. Not necessarily prime ESPN material.
Blachowicz takes on Dominick Reyes for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship this Saturday at UFC 253 (headlined by Stylebender vs Costa)