Jan Blachowicz has been doubted at each activate his rise to changing into the sunshine heavyweight champion, and it continued forward of his first title protection on Saturday. However as soon as once more, Blachowicz defied the percentages and retained his championship in the principle occasion of UFC 259 with a win over middleweight champion Israel Adesanya within the Kiwi’s bid to change into a two-division champion.
Blachowicz and Adesanya fought a tense first three rounds, with each males trying to reduce errors and make the opposite pay. Whereas Adesanya was the higher technical striker, as anticipated, Blachowicz continued to throw punches and kicks with the previous high-level kickboxing standout.
The feints of Adesanya appeared to bother Blachowicz as a lot as any landed strikes. In truth, Blachowicz outlanded Adesanya in whole strikes in each spherical of the battle in response to the UFC’s official stats.
Whereas Blachowicz teased some grappling within the first three rounds, he was unable to take Adesanya down for any significant period of time. It was within the championship rounds that Blachowicz confirmed off his bona fides, lastly utilizing his dimension and energy benefit to take down Adesanya and grind away with floor and pound.
Piling away the factors in these huge closing rounds allowed Blachowicz to tug away on the scorecards, incomes the victory by scores of 49-46, 49-45 and 49-45. Two of the three judges gave Blachowicz a 10-Eight spherical in Spherical 5, rewarding him for dominant floor work, together with closing the battle in mount and dropping heavy punches to the face of the middleweight champ.
“I believed that he can be just a little bit quicker, however he do not hit so arduous,” Blachowicz mentioned following his victory. “He was slower, however he hit more durable, this was one thing I do not anticipate. I ought to do my left hand just a little bit extra, I ought to do extra jabs, put extra stress on him. However sport plan is one, and battle is second, a unique factor.”
As for what’s subsequent for the champion? Blachowicz believes the following man up must be veteran mild heavyweight Glover Teixeira.
“I feel [Teixeira] deserves it,” Blachowicz mentioned. “He’ll have to attend just a little bit, so I can relaxation and be with my household. However he’ll wait, he will likely be subsequent.”
In defeat, Adesanya was respectful of Blachowicz, acknowledging the evening was “like a foul day on the fitness center.”
“It did not go the way in which I needed it to go, however dare to be nice,” Adesanya mentioned. “The critics are those on the sidelines, however I am the one placing it on the road.”
Adesanya mentioned he would finally return to the sunshine heavyweight division. First, nonetheless, will come a return to the middleweight division to defend his belt.
“I rule them with an iron black fist,” Adesanya mentioned. “I am going to return down and deal with enterprise. If you wish to get off the hype practice, get the f— off the hype practice. We’re simply stopping for fuel. If you wish to keep on, I promise I will make you proud.”
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Blachowicz is now 9-Four in his UFC profession when competing as an underdog, and he entered the Octagon as an underdog in his three most up-to-date fights, together with successful the vacant championship in opposition to Dominick Reyes.
“Now I feel I deserve full respect,” Blachowicz mentioned of any doubters of his place within the sport. “I used to be the true champion earlier than and I’m the true champion now.”
CBS Sports activities was with you your complete approach on Saturday bringing you all the outcomes and highlights from the UFC 259 under.
UFC 259 card and outcomes
- Jan Blachowicz (c) def. Israel Adesanya by way of unanimous determination (49-46, 49-45, 49-45)
- Amanda Nunes (c) def. Megan Anderson by way of first-round submission (armbar)
- Aljamain Sterling (c) def. Petr Yan by way of DQ within the fourth spherical (unlawful knee)
- Islam Makhachev def. Drew Dober by way of third-round submission (arm triangle)
- Aleksandar Rakic def. Thiago Santos by way of unanimous determination (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Dominick Cruz def. Casey Kenney by way of break up determination (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Kyler Phillips def. Track Yadong by way of unanimous determination (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Askar Askarov def. Joseph Benavidez by way of unanimous determination (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Kai Kara-France def. Rogerio Bontorin by way of first-round TKO (punch)