Jan Blachowicz defended his UFC light heavyweight title with a unanimous decision over previously undefeated Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 on Saturday night, thwarting Adesanya’s bid to hold two championship belts simultaneously.
38-year-old Blachowicz (28-8) made his first title defense after suffering an impressive start from Adesanya (20-1), the formidable middleweight champion who made history. The Polish champion turned his fight with two huge takedowns and subsequent ground control in the fourth and fifth rounds.
The judges scored the bout 49-46, 49-45, 49-45 as Blachowicz handed Adesanya the first loss of his mixed martial arts career.
Blachowicz ended the fight in full mount while raining punches on Adesanya, who had never lost in a mixed martial arts career that began in 2012. Adesanya, the charismatic New Zealander by origin Nigerian, failed to join Amanda Nunes, Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier and Henry Cejudo as the only simultaneous two-belt UFC champions.
Adesanya was the sharpest and most aggressive striker in the opening rounds, but Blachowicz survived the onslaught and ultimately implemented his game plan. Blachowicz turned the fight in the fourth round with an impressive withdrawal and solid fieldwork, almost forcing the judges to give him the turn.
The charismatic New Zealander of Nigerian descent failed to join Amanda Nunes, Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier and Henry Cejudo as the only simultaneous two-belt UFC champions.
Adesanya took his first backhand in stride.
“Losses are a part of life,” Adesanya said. “It’s just my first in MMA. If I was going to lose to someone, what better guy to lose than a guy like Jan? Classy champion, cool guy, nice guy. He’s got a great story to tell. almost gets kicked out of the UFC, he becomes champion and gives this guy, a future legend, his first loss. “
Adesanya’s eight-game winning streak in the UFC came to an end against Blachowicz, who won the 205-pound belt in 2020 after stopping Dominick Reyes.
“I thought he would be a little faster,” said Blachowicz. “But he hit harder than I thought he would.”
The Polish star admitted to being taken aback by Adsenya’s power, even though he believed he handled his speed well.
“I thought he would be a little faster, but he hit harder than I thought,” said Blachowicz.
“I knew I was going to be better on the pitch. I just had to wait for the right moment. He was a little tired so I waited for the right moment and tried to use him. If I would have knocked him out. . that would be better. But because he’s one of the best in the world, I’m happy. “
UFC President Dana White criticized the score of the fight, aiming for a 10-8 round streak awarded to the Polish fighter.
“The score was insane, they give a 10-8 like…” he said. “There were two rounds in that fight they came out as a 10-8. When I got into the fighting business, a 10-8 was an a– whooping. You had your a– whooped . You didn’t. S — in this round if it was a 10-8. This 10-8 s — is out of control right now, so hopefully we can fix that. They’re going to screw up a lot of fights if they give out 10-8s like that. There wasn’t a 10-8 in that fight. “
He was later questioned about it and continued to criticize the judges.
“I think we can all agree, that fight wasn’t 4-1. It’s bats – crazy people. If anyone watching this fight thinks it’s 4-1, they’re bats – crazy people, it was fine even in the last round. And Israel won the first half of the round, and then Jan defeated it and won the fight in the second half of the round. The only thing that makes it this 4-1 is ridiculous 10-8 laps. It’s a big judgment issue that needs to be corrected. “
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