Jan Blachowicz emerged victorious after handing Israel Adesanya his first MMA defeat at UFC 259. This was the main event of the evening and saw two light heavyweights clash in front of a captive audience at home. The middleweight titleholder set out to become a two-division champion against Blachowicz. 205 pounds is a different world in the fighting game and the Nigerian champion got a little more than he bargained for. Funnily enough, Adesanya’s team had already been teasing a possible jump to heavyweight before this even happened. He was probably hoping there was some money there as Stipe Miocic resides with the current heavyweight crown. But, now all that is out the window and Adesanya will have to pick up the pieces. Blachowicz made a statement tonight that it wasn't going to be so easy to mosey on up and take his belt.
Jan Blachowicz in full control over Israel Adesanya to end round 5 😳 #UFC259March 7, 2021
For what it’s worth, Daniel Cormier told the collected press that he thought Adesanya wouldn't have a problem with the height difference. MMA Junkie transcribed his feelings on how the weight change wouldn't end up being a factor for the Nigerian.
“You feel the difference in the power. You can tell they punch a little harder when you’re used to something. But it just takes time to get started,” Cormier explained. “Once you get started and get used to the power, the speed, and the pace which the fight is going to take place, it’s just another fight.. These guys have competed their whole lives, so nothing is really going to surprise him. You have to remember, Izzy has fought at heavyweight. He’s fought heavier guys, so this wont be that difficult for him.”
“I don’t think he will go up to heavyweight in two fights – that’s crazy,” he added. “You can’t go 185 to heavyweight in two fights. I think it will take some time… But I think that this speaks to who Israel Adesanya is – that that’s even a conversation, that he could attempt to do something that outlandish. There was a time that nobody thought being a two-division champion was even possible, and now we’re talking about a guy who may pursue three titles, talking about a 20-pound jump to a 60-pound jump. That just speaks to the level of athlete that Adesanya is.”
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Photo Credit: Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC