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Blachowicz retains title, hands Adesanya his first MMA loss

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Jan Blachowicz is still the light heavyweight champion.

It took him five rounds, but Blachowicz defeated UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45) on Saturday 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 (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Blachowicz (28-8 MMA, 11-5 UFC) 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)
  • Amanda Nunes def. Megan Anderson via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:03 – to defend women’s featherweight title
  • Aljamain Sterling def. Petr Yan via disqualification (illegal knee) – Round 4, 4:29 – to become UFC bantamweight champion
  • Islam Makhachev def. Drew Dober via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 1:37
  • Aleksandar Rakic def. Thiago Santos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Dominick Cruz def. Casey Kenney via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
  • Kyler Phillips def. Song Yadong via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Askar Askarov def. Joseph Benavidez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
  • Kai Kara-France def. Rogerio Bontorin via TKO (punch) – Round 1, 4:55
  • Tim Elliott def. Jordan Espinosa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)
  • Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Carlos Ulberg via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:19
  • Sean Brady def. Jake Matthews via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 3:28
  • Amanda Lemos def. Livinha Souza via TKO (punch) – Round 1, 3:39
  • Uros Medic def. Aalon Cruz via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:40
  • Trevin Jones def. Mario Bautista via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 0:47

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