Jan Blachowicz is still the light heavyweight champion.
It took him five rounds, but Blachowicz beat UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45) on Saturday at UFC 259.
The light heavyweight title fight was the main event of UFC 259 at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It was aired on pay-per-view after the preliminaries on ESPN and the first preliminaries on ESPN +.
In an intriguing style clash, Adesanya (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Blachowicz (28-8 MMA, 11-5 UFC) both displayed beneficial attributes for their natural weight classes. For Adesanya, his strike was much faster than Blachowicz’s. However, when the fight came to hand-to-hand and the two fighters clashed, either hand-to-hand or on the ground, Blachowicz showed his advantage in strength.
Rounds 1 and 2 consisted of a lot of combat points. Adesanya used a heavy attack while Blachowicz used a more boxing-centric approach. Blachowicz was patient, almost mistakenly, as he was almost hesitant to try to figure out Adesanya’s puzzle – especially in the third round when Adesanya’s strike started to gain the upper hand.
In the fourth round, Blachowicz changed his approach. After the fight was on his feet for the first 15 minutes, Blachowicz tested his luck in the grappling department. He took Adesanya down at the start of round 4 and held the fight in half guard and lateral control until the end of round horn.
Halfway through the fifth inning, Blachowicz shot again – and once again got what he was looking for. This time, Blachowicz managed to get a full mount. However, the weather was not on his side. As Blachowicz reduced the punches, the final horn sounded.
With the victory, Blachowicz continues his winning ways. Not only did Blachowicz win his first career UFC title defense, he also extended his winning streak to five. In his last 10 outings, Blachowicz has gone 9-1 with wins over Adesanya, Dominick Reyes, Corey Anderson, Ronaldo Souza, Luke Rockhold and more.
As for Adesanya, the loss is the first of his professional MMA career. Although he lost his challenge for the UFC light heavyweight title, Adesanya remains the UFC middleweight champion, a division in which he has twice defended his title.
The most recent UFC 259 results include:
- Jan Blachowicz beats. Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45)
- Amanda Nunes beats. Megan Anderson via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:03 – to defend the women’s featherweight title
- Aljamain Sterling defeats. Petr Yan via disqualification (illegal knee) – Round 4, 4:29 – to become UFC bantamweight champion
- Islam Makhachev def. Drew Dober via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 1:37
- Aleksandar Rakic defeats. Thiago Santos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Dominick Cruz beats. Casey Kenney by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Kyler Phillips defeats. Song Yadong via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Askar Askarov def. Joseph Benavidez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Kai Kara-France beats. Rogerio Bontorin via TKO (punch) – Round 1, 4:55
- Tim Elliott beats. Jordan Espinosa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)
- Kennedy Nzechukwu beats. Carlos Ulberg via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:19
- Sean Brady beats. Jake Matthews via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) – Round 3, 3:28
- Amanda Lemos beats. Livinha Souza via TKO (punch) – Round 1, 3:39
- Uros Medic def. Aalon Cruz via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:40
- Trevin Jones defeats. Mario Bautista via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 0:47