The top of the UFC 259 billing saw the light heavyweight king, Jan Blachowicz, take a unanimous decision over the middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, to keep his 205-pound belt.
The bout lasted all 25-minutes, in what was a rather technical affair and an extremely close contest. Both men landed their respective strikes, with Jan being the one who mixed in takedowns and top control. It looks like Glover teixeira will be the next challenge for Jan.
Adesanya kept his distance, pumping his jab and giving different looks. Blachowicz looked to close the gap and land with his Polish power. Both men were attacking the legs, and succeeding. Neither man really opened up in what was a bit of a feeling out round.
Izzy has Jan biting on all sorts of feints to begin the second round. The defending champ started to press forward, landing single strikes. Adesanya responded with kicks to the leg of Jan, and then the fighters started going strike for strike. There was an accidental cup check from Izzy, but the break didn’t eat up too much time.
Blachowicz got off to a great start in the third round. He was scoring with his punches, and then hit a brief takedown. Izzy responded with a hard hook, the same one that KO’d Robert Whittaker. Jan backed off, and then clinched up with Adesanya against the cage. Izzy broke free and started sticking straight punches in Jan’s direction. Blachowicz started landing with his jab before clinching up again against the cage.
Adesanya let his straight punches go, touching his target to open the fourth. Jan tried to get another takedown, but Izzy was able to remain vertical. Then, the defending champ started to score with heavy punches, despite them landing one at a time. Then, it was Izzy’s turn to land some punches. Jan switched gears and blasted a takedown, pinning Izzy to the mat for over three-minutes.
Adesanya seemed to be the fresher fighter going into the final frame. Both men were landing jabs, but Izzy was making Blachowicz miss a lot more. Adesanya scored with a slick spinning back kick to the midsection, but Jan wore it quite well. Then, Blachowicz blasted another takedown with half-a-round remaining in the fight. Adesanya tried to improve his position.
Jan Blachowicz def. Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45 x2): Light Heavyweight Title