Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, looked to join some rarified air tonight (Sat., March 6, 2021), moving up a weight class and challenging 205-pound roost-ruler, Jan Blachowicz, in the pay-per-view (PPV) main event of UFC 259, which took place inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. With a win, Adesanya would join Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo to become only the fifth fighter to simultaneously hold belts in two UFC weight classes.
It wasn’t in the cards, though, as Blachowicz was able to hand Adesanya his first-ever professional mixed martial arts (MMA) loss after a five-round battle that ended via unanimous decision (watch highlights).
Live updates will begin to flow below the moment the two fighters make their way to the Octagon ...
Izzy, the challenger, was the first to make the walk:
Then it was Blachowicz’s turn ...
Jan opens up with a low kick as Adesanya used the first minute to gauge his opponent. He finally got going with a low kick, then a jab as Jan missed with a hard counter left. Front kick from Adesanya as Jan tries to corral him into a corner. High kick from Adesanya is partially blocked, with Jan sending the same his way moments later. They both trade low kicks, with Adesanya looking to land an overhand right moments later. Front kick from Adesanya pushes back Jan, who pumps a jab then follows up with a body kick. Jan tried to muscle his way in with a barrage of punches, but Adesanya’s long arms blocked them all. Calculated round — not much going on in terms of damage.
Jan checking kicks early as Adesanya fakes with a spinning kick. Adesanya lands a nice shot, but Jan makes him pay with a big right hand counter. He followed it up with a few nice jabs and then an outside leg kick. Adesanya misses with a question mark kick, with Jan looking to charge in with a combination. Inside low kicks from Adesanya, which Jan used to get close and try to muscle him to the ground. Brief stop in the action for a low blow by Adesanya. Jan landed a nice body kick, then retreated when Adesanya attempted the same. Adesanya with another low blow, but was not warned ... yet. Hard left hand from Adesanya, with Jan trying to explode with a big counter. Front kick from Jan lands, then an overhand right. Jab from Adesanya at the bell ... nothing to write home about once again.
Nice combination from Jan to open up the third frame. He barreled in again, looking to muscle Adesanya to the floor. Looked like that angered Adesanya, who started to open up, landing a hard shot that appeared to hurt Jan in the exchange. Body kick from Adesanya, then a combination, compelling Jan to bear hug him and tie him up along the fence. Adesanya boxed the ears along the cage, then the pair exchanged simultaneous stiff jabs. Adesanya continued to fire away, backing up Jan, who began to take some deep breaths. Jan with a heavy jab to the face, then the chest, of Adesanya. Jan bear hugged him again with less than one minute remaining, but Adesanya spun out and landed a nice right cross as the round came to a close.
Close fight heading into championship rounds, but Adesanya appeared to be the fresher fighter. Jan scored with a nice right hand, then another ... then two left jabs that snapped Adesanya’s head back. Both exchange body kicks, then Adesanya lands a right hand then an elbow. Jan finally bull rushed him and scored a takedown midway through the round. He dropped some elbows as Adesanya tried to squirm out from underneath. Jan continued to ride him as Adesanya tried to control his huge head. Hammerfists from Jan, then some more shots to the ears. Jan eventually moved to side control, then back to half guard, not doing a ton of physical damage, but probably doing some damage on the scorecards. Jan remained on top until the final bell — big round for the Light Heavyweight champ.
Super close fight at this point, with Jan scoring early with a low kick and then a jab. Adesanya with the low kicks, which Jan countered with a nice combination. Adesanya with a nice overhand right, with Jan working the jab moments later. Spinning back kick lands to the liver of Jan ... but Adesanya looked like he was doing a little rope-a-dope and Jan made him pay with another huge takedown. Adesanya tried to inch his way closer to the fence as Jan rained down some short shots. Adesanya couldn’t get off his back, trying to push off the fence with his feet, but it didn’t work. Jan remained on top of him, unloading some ground-and-pound until the final bell blared.
Final result: Blachowicz defeats Adesanya via unanimous decision
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