This past Saturday at UFC 259, light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz (28-8), welcomed Israel Adesanya (20-1) to light heavyweight. Adesanya was looking to become a two-division champion on Saturday night.
While Blachowicz was the defending champion, the majority of the attention was falling on Adesanya. Stylebender is on his way to being the biggest star in the sport and he was trying to accomplish something that only four others have done in the UFC.
Blachowicz had just become the light heavyweight champion back in September. Despite being the defending champion, most were counting Blachowicz out on Saturday night. Blachowicz is known for his famous Polish Power, but there was a lot to be concerned about going into UFC 259.
For one, Adesanya is arguably the best pure striker in the promotion. Adesanya was also supposed to have a massive speed advantage so one would think if the fight was standing, Blachowicz’s only chance was to land a big knockout shot.
However, the knockout shot never came on Saturday night. Instead, Blachowicz actually got the better of the striking for two of the first three rounds. He then transitioned to his grappling to secure the fourth and the fifth. In the end, it was a clear decision win for Blachowicz at UFC 259.
What’s next after UFC 259?
With the win on Saturday night, Blachowicz showed the world that his title run was no fluke. He fought arguably the biggest star in the sport and he beat him at his own game which is distance striking.
After the fight was over, Blachowicz said that he wanted to take a little time off before his next UFC title defense. That said, the next fight for him is already lined up. The number one contender in the division is Glover Teixeira (32-7).
What a turnaround Glover Teixeira has experienced inside the octagon. Back in 2018, Glover lost a decision to Corey Anderson. He was 2-3 in his previous five fights and he was getting ready to turn 40. However, that’s when he turned things around.
Glover Teixeira has now won five consecutive fights and finished four of them. Three of those wins came against top ten contenders at 205. In a way, Blachowicz and Teixeira have had very similar stretches.
Both men looked like their UFC careers were going to be over just a few years ago. Blachowicz was 2-4 and Teixeira was struggling. However, both men drastically turned things around. One is now the champion and the other is the number one contender. These two should clash in the late summer this year.