Jan Blachowicz makes first successful defence of title against Israel Adesanya
HERE'S TO THE UNDERDOGS 🏆 #UFC259 pic.twitter.com/5pvtTOpVXx
— UFC (@ufc) March 7, 2021
Jan Blachowicz ended Israel Adesanya’s dreams of becoming a two-division UFC champion at UFC 259 with a controlled performance.
The Polish fighter kept a tight defence and showed top-tier fight IQ en route to taking a well-deserved unanimous decision victory.
Blachowicz and Adesanya enjoyed a tactical, sometimes pensive, battle in the first three rounds with both men trading leg kicks, kicks to the body and punches up top.
Those rounds were closely contested, but Blachowicz switched things up once the fight entered the championship rounds.
On the feet, the light heavyweight champion and the middleweight king were again fairly equal with their striking output and accuracy, but Blachowicz showed a significant grappling edge to close out both the fourth and fifth rounds.
Blachowicz’s takedowns were perfectly timed and Adesanya had little answer for the Pole’s control on the ground. In the fifth round, Blachowicz finished the fight strong as he smashed heavy ground and pound punches from side control and full mount to make a statement.
All three judges scored the contest in Blachowicz’s favour. The scorecards read: 49-46, 49-45, and 49-45.
Amanda Nunes knocks out Megan Anderson
🏆🏆 @Amanda_Leoa didn't need long! #UFC259 pic.twitter.com/LADS0snV0b
— UFC (@ufc) March 7, 2021
UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight queen Amanda Nunes continues to create headaches for the UFC matchmakers after a dominant victory over Megan Anderson.
Anderson, a former Invicta featherweight champion, has long been seen as one of the few natural female featherweights that can cause problems for Nunes.
However, it quickly became clear that Nunes had too much for Anderson.
Nunes clubbed Anderson with two powerful right hands that sent the Australian into retreat. Anderson tried to take Nunes down in an attempt to buy time and regain her wits, but the Brazilian easily rebuffed that and took up her own dominant position down on the canvas.
Anderson was cracked with a number of hammerfists before Nunes wrapped her legs around the 31-year-old for a triangle from the back. Nunes the cranked on the isolated arm to secure a quick submission win.
A new mother, Nunes is now riding a 12-fight win streak and looks unstoppable at bantamweight and featherweight.
Petr Yan disqualified for illegal knee, Aljamain Sterlin new UFC bantamweight champ
Due to an intentional foul, @FunkMasterMMA is the new bantamweight champion. #UFC259 pic.twitter.com/AlNLboFIlr
— UFC (@ufc) March 7, 2021
We have a new UFC bantamweight champion in Aljamain Sterling, but his victory over Petr Yan didn’t come in the way these combatants or any fan would have wanted.
Sterling started the fight strongly, but Yan came into his own as the fight wore on and seemed to have the upper hand in every striking exchange against his tiring opponent.
The Russian’s grappling also looked on point as he repelled most of Sterling’s takedown attempts and scored with his own trips throughout the first three rounds and most of the fourth.
And then came the fight’s ending. Yan stuffed another of Sterling’s takedowns and drove a strong knee right into Sterling’s head afterward. The problem is, Sterling’s right knee was still on the mat and he was clearly a downed opponent.
Finally getting to watch the sequence and wow…Heartbreaking to watch https://t.co/jbXQySL3rx
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) March 7, 2021
Understandably, Sterling was visibly dazed and looked like he was struggling to even sit up. A tense, and very awkward, couple of minutes ensued with the referee not bringing a doctor into the cage while Sterling is writhing around on the Octagon floor.
Thankfully a doctor soon entered the cage and it was determined that Sterling was not in a fit state to continue the fight and rightly so. As that knee was an illegal, fight-ending strike – Yan was promptly disqualified.
Sterling looked emotional after the incident and refused to wear the UFC bantamweight championship that was wrapped around his waist.
Yan, who suffered his first loss in almost five years, issued an apology on social media after his errant knee. It’s thought that both fighters will fight again in a rematch as soon as possible.
I apologize and wish speedy recovery to @funkmasterMMA I didn’t mean to throw an illegal strike, I just made a big mistake and paid for it.
— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) March 7, 2021
UFC 259: Blachowicz vs. Adesanya full results
Light Heavyweight championship: Jan Błachowicz (c) def. Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision after five rounds
Women’s Featherweight championship: Amanda Nunes (c) def. Megan Anderson by submission (triangle armbar) at 2:03 of round one
Bantamweight championship: Aljamain Sterling def. Petr Yan (c) by DQ (illegal knee) at 4:29 of round four
Lightweight: Islam Makhachev def. Drew Dober by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 1:37 of round three
Light Heavyweight: Aleksandar Rakić def. Thiago Santos by unanimous decision after three rounds
Bantamweight: Dominick Cruz def. Casey Kenney by split decision after three rounds
Bantamweight: Kyler Phillips def. Song Yadong by unanimous decision after three rounds
Catchweight: Askar Askarov def. Joseph Benavidez by unanimous decision after three rounds
Flyweight: Kai Kara-France def. Rogério Bontorin by KO (punches) at 4:55 of round one
Flyweight: Tim Elliott def. Jordan Espinosa by unanimous decision after three rounds
Light Heavyweight: Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Carlos Ulberg by KO (punches) at 3:19 of round two
Welterweight: Sean Brady def. Jake Matthews by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:28 of round three
Women’s Strawweight: Amanda Lemos def. Lívia Renata Souza by TKO (punches) at 3:39 of round one
Lightweight: Uroš Medić def. Aalon Cruz by TKO (punches) at 1:40 of round one
Bantamweight: Trevin Jones def. Mario Bautista by TKO (punches) at 0:47 of round two