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Jan Blachowicz is still the light heavyweight champion.
It took him five rounds, but Blachowicz (28-8 MMA, 11-5 UFC) defeated UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (20-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC) by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45) onSaturday at UFC 259.
The light heavyweight title bout was the UFC 259 main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.
In an intriguing clash of styles, Adesanya and Blachowicz both displayed attributes advantageous for their natural weight classes. For Adesanya, his striking was much faster than Blachowicz’s. However, when the fight reached entered close quarters and the two fighters grappled, either in the clinch or on the ground, Blachowicz showed his strength advantage.
Rounds 1 and 2 consisted of much point fighting. Adesanya used a kick-heavy attack while Blachowicz used a more boxing-centric approach. Blachowicz was patient, almost to a fault, as he bordered on hesitant trying to figure out Adesanya’s puzzle – especially in Round 3 when Adesanya’s striking began to take over.
In Round 4, Blachowicz switched up his approach. After the fight took place on the feet through the opening 15 minutes, Blachowicz tested his luck in the grappling department. He took Adesanya down early in Round 4 and held the fight in half guard and side control until the end-of-round horn.
Midway through Round 5, Blachowicz shot again – and once again, he got what he was looking for. This time, Blachowicz was able to gain full mount. However, time was not on his side. As Blachowicz reined down punches, the final horn sounded.
With the win, Blachowicz continues his winning ways. Not only did Blachowicz pick up his first career UFC title defense, but he also extended his winning streak to five. In his most recent 10 outings, Blachowicz has gone 9-1 with victories over Adesanya, Dominick Reyes, Corey Anderson, Ronaldo Souza, Luke Rockhold, and more.
As for Adesanya, the loss is the first of his professional MMA career. Though he lost his UFC light heavyweight title challenge, Adesanya remains the UFC middleweight champion, a division he has twice defended his title in.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 259 results include:
Jan Blachowicz def. Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45)