UFC 259: Main Event Preview
Israel Adesanya vs. Jan Blachowicz (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

UFC 259: Main Event Preview

Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya (20-0) vs. [C] Jan Blachowicz (27-8)
Light Heavyweight Championship
205 LBS


With UFC 259 finally upon us, the wait for the most stacked card of the year is over. Consisting of three title fights, the UFC is primed to kick off the spring with a bang. While many eyes will be on Petr Yan defending his newly won bantamweight title and Amanda Nunes continuing her historic run of dominance, the world is on the edge of its seat in anticipation of the sixth champion vs. champion contest in UFC history. The true reasoning behind Israel Adesanya moving up to challenge the light heavyweight king Jan Blachowicz is up for debate. That doesn’t change the magnitude of what will go down tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada.

While Adesanya may genuinely want to become a double champion, it’s no secret what lies between the lines with him and Jon Jones. Becoming a double champion will only add to the list of what makes Adesanya one of the fastest-growing stars in the UFC. One just has to think that he could be doing this in an attempt to lure the former 205-pound champion back from heavyweight for the super fight of super fights. Regardless, Blachowicz has quickly become a dangerous threat to everyone who stands across from him. That means the current middleweight champion will need to be focused once he engages with the man from Poland.

Israel Adesanya

As Adesanya seems to get bigger every time he steps into the octagon, this is the first time where it looks like he is making his claim as the best fighter on the planet. It’s hard to find a two-year run as impressive as what “The Last Stylebender” has done in that time. From defeating his idol in Anderson Silva to rampaging through the middleweight division, Adesanya has become one of the clear faces of the UFC. Only time will tell what his limitations are. As of right now, there doesn’t seem to be any insight.

Still honing his craft at City Kickboxing, the Nigerian continues to develop amongst some of the premier talent in the world over in Australia. Arguably one of the best kickboxers in the history of the sport, Adesanya looks like he’s improved in every fight. With guys like Dan Hooker and Alexander Volkanovski with him on the mats every day, there’s no reason to believe his rise will plateau anytime soon. With Adesanya competing at heavyweight as a kickboxer, it’ll be interesting to see how he transcends to a higher weight class competing in the sport of MMA.

Jan Blachowicz

12 months ago, Blachowicz was not considered to be one of the elite light heavyweights in the UFC. With two impressive knockouts and Jon Jones leaving the division, Blachowicz has been able to revive his career to the point of making it to the top. Since being stopped by Thiago Santos in February of 2019, the man from Poland has looked nearly unstoppable. He is now one win away from becoming a legend in Poland and a superstar among the UFC brass.

Believe it or not, Blachowicz has a better betting chance to win tonight’s fight than he did back in September against Dominic Reyes. While Reyes was coming off of a terrific performance against Jon Jones, it’s crazy to think Vegas has Blachowicz as a smaller ‘dog’ against Adesanya. With Reyes having more range than Blachowicz, perhaps the sportsbooks of the world see Adesanya’s advantage in that department as a non-factor. While Blachowicz does have the power to turn the lights off, Adesanya has prepared for someone planning to land one big shot. The Berkut WCA Fight Team understands they’ll need a more versatile gameplan than in the past.

Breakdown

As a champion/challenger moving to another division to become a double champion has become less rare, this will be the first time the middleweight champion will challenge the light heavyweight champion. Regardless of why this fight came about, it’s history in the making. What intrigues some fans is the utter difference in the respective careers of the two competitors. While Adesanya has taken the UFC by storm, Blachowicz may have the quietest rise to being a champion in recent memory. It’s almost as if people forget that he is the champion of the 205-pound division. There’s no mistake about it. Blachowicz is bound and determined to shock the world and retain his title tonight in Las Vegas.

Blachowicz is indeed coming to show that he belongs where he is. While true, there’s a reason Adesanya has gained the notoriety he has over the last two years. He simply plays with world-class competition on the feet and has been nearly impossible to takedown. When someone stands across from him, what exactly are they supposed to do? That’s why the dynamic of Adesanya facing a man who is naturally big and tough to crack is fascinating.

While Adesanya has stopped or beaten some of the hardest hitters in the UFC, Blachowicz is more technical than most people give him credit for. Making this fight a new experience for Adesanya that should keep his approach careful in the initial minutes. Something that doesn’t change is the fact that Adesanya is in a different atmosphere when it comes to his speed. Also, his ability to dissect a man on the feet will never go away. Blachowicz does have the ability to cause problems, but he is not on the level of Adesanya. With this fight likely never going to the ground, the question will be how long does it take for Adesanya to find his spots and put Blachowicz away.

Blachowicz has been impressive on his run to championship gold, and he does have the capabilities to put Adesanya in danger, but he “lacks the facilities” to keep up with someone who is on a godly level of striking.

Adesanya slowly picks Blachowicz apart and becomes the fifth double champion in UFC history.

Adesanya def. Blachowicz via TKO (3rd Round)

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