UFC 253: Israel Adesanya makes light work of Paulo Costa as he retains UFC middleweight title

Someone’s 0 had to go in the UFC 253 main event between UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and top contender Paulo Costa, but it was the former who emerged from the Octagon victorious.

Adesanya targeted Costa’s lead leg with some brutal kicks in the first round, chewing the Brazilian’s left leg up to hamper his movement and left it looking red with a purplish tint.

Ahead of the contest, the Nigerian-born Kiwi likened this fight to a bull vs matador scenario and that certainly played out.

Costa seemed reluctant to throw punches, but he did land some kicks in the opening round, most notably one to the body and another which narrowly missed Adesanya’s head but glanced off his shoulder.

Adesanya, though, looked one step ahead throughout and was comfortably landing the strikes he wanted and was totally at ease in being elusive and slipping Costa’s shots while on the backfoot.

In the second round, “The Last Stylebender” landed a big head kick which saw Costa start fighting in retreat rather than pressing the action – his gamesmanship and taunting disappeared, too.

In the centre of the cage, Costa whiffed on a punching combination only to be countered by a left hook which staggered him. Adesanya followed him down into full mount to rain down punches and elbows in top position to deliver enough punishment to force referee Jason Herzog to call a stop to the contest.

Adesanya is still your UFC middleweight champion and he looks totally comfortable as king of the 185-pound division.

 

Jan Blachowicz knocks out Dominick Reyes to win vacant UFC light heavyweight championship

Polish power and a well-executed gameplan saw betting underdog Jan Blachowicz become the new UFC light heavyweight champion.

In a pensive first round, Blachowicz smartly targeted Dominick Reyes’ lead right leg with calf kicks to hinder his opponent’s movement. The Pole also threatened with his punching power, throwing some blitzed combinations towards Reyes, before loading up on big power body kicks to punctuate these attacks and bruise up his foe’s ribs.

After a flat first round, Reyes came out aggressive for the second stanza and threw some punch combinations and leg kicks of his own. Blachowicz didn’t have any of it, though, and would return fire with a barrage of punches to ensure the momentum of the fight was constantly in his favour.

As the second round started to wind down, Reyes threw caution to the wind and mixed up his strikes landing kicks to the body and punches up top. Blachowicz joined him and both men threw – and landed – shots in some wild exchanges. Reyes came off worse, though, receiving what looked like a horrific broken nose from a right straight.

Undeterred, Reyes continued advancing towards Blachowicz to make something happen for him and to try and steal the second round.

However, with his back against the cage, Blachowicz staggered and felled Reyes with a looping counter left hook. Blachowicz immediately followed Reyes down the the mat to deliver fight-ending blows to become crowned the new UFC light heavyweight champion.

Blachowicz called out former champion Jon Jones, who vacated his title, after his win. Will Jones return to the light heavyweight division to win his belt back?

 

UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa full results

UFC Middleweight Championship: Israel Adesanya (c) def. Paulo Costa by TKO (punches) at 3:59 of round two
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship: Jan BΕ‚achowicz def. Dominick Reyes by TKO (punches) at 4:36 of round two
Flyweight: Brandon Royval def. Kai Kara-France by submission (guillotine choke) at 0:48 of round two
Women’s Bantamweight: Ketlen Vieira def. Sijara Eubanks by unanimous decision after three rounds
Catchweight: Hakeem Dawodu def. Zubaira Tukhugov by split decision after three rounds
Lightweight: Brad Riddell def. Alex da Silva Coelho by unanimous decision after three rounds
Welterweight: Jake Matthews def. Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision after three rounds
Catchweight: Δ½udovΓ­t Klein def. Shane Young by KO (head kick and punches) at 1:16 of round one
Light Heavyweight: William Knight def. Aleksa Camur by unanimous decision after three rounds
Heavyweight: Juan Espino Dieppa def. Jeff Hughes by submission (scarf hold choke) at 3:48 of round one
Light Heavyweight: Danilo Marques def. Khadis Ibragimov by unanimous decision after three rounds