After successful title defense at UFC 259, what’s next for Jan Blachowicz?

Corey Anderson

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.

What’s next for Israel Adesanya after his loss at UFC 259?

This past Saturday at UFC 259, Israel Adesanya (20-1) moved up in attempt to become a two-division champion. Standing in his way was the man who became the king at 205 last year, Jan Blachowicz (28-8).

The fight didn’t go anything like I thought it would. For the first three rounds, it was a technical striking match. However, I figured Adesanya would have a much greater speed advantage than he had. I figured if they kickboxed at range, Adesanya would have the massive advantage.

He did not at UFC 259. Blachowicz held his own and in fact, all three judges gave the light heavyweight champion two of the first three rounds. The final two rounds were dominated by Blachowicz who switched to his wrestling.

Adesanya had no answer for the wrestling game of Blachowicz. Blachowicz successfully landed two takedowns in the fourth and fifth and the rest of both rounds found him on top of the UFC‘s middleweight champion.

In the end, all three judges gave four of the five rounds to Blachowicz. Israel Adesanya suffered his first career loss in the UFC and now will return to the middleweight division where he is still the champion.

What’s next after UFC 259?

As mentioned, following his failed attempt to become a two-division UFC champion, Adesanya will return to the division where he still holds the belt. Over the next two months, there are a lot of pivotal matchups in the middleweight division.

There are two fights in particular that I think will likely produce the next challenger for Adesanya. The first matchup is the fight between Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa. Whittaker is the former UFC middleweight champion and has only lost to Adesanya at 185 pounds.

Costa is still one of the top contenders in the division and his only career loss is to Adesanya. The other fight I have my eyes on is the Marvin Vettori – Darren Till matchup. Adesanya has been vocal that he’s always wanted to fight Darren Till.

Meanwhile, Marvin Vettori is surging and fought the UFC middleweight champion to a split decision not too long ago. I believe Adesanya’s next fight will come from one of these four men. However, before the year’s over, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Kevin Holland enter that mix.

Jan Blachowicz grinds out decision over Israel Adesanya at UFC 259

Corey Anderson

In the main event of UFC 259, we had the light heavyweight title fight that people have been talking about for months. Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya (20-0), was moving up to challenge the champion, Jan Blachowicz (27-8).

There might not be a bigger superstar in the UFC right now than Israel Adesanya. The Last Stylebender has everything you’re looking for in a star. He’s a champion, he’s undefeated, he’s flashy, and he’s extremely charismatic.

The man is also incredibly slick when he’s in the cage. Adesanya has risen through and cleaned out the UFC‘s middleweight division on his way to being champion. Having gone through the middleweights, Adesanya was looking for a new challenge which is where Jan Blachowicz enters the picture.

Blachowicz is truly a remarkable fighter. Just a few years ago, Blachowicz was 2-4 in the UFC. He looked like he was going to get cut, however, that’s when he turned his career around. With a new focus, Blachowicz has gone 8-1 in his last night fights.

The culmination for Blachowicz came at UFC 253 when he fought Dominick Reyes. Many considered Reyes to be the uncrowned champion and Blachowicz went out there and knocked him out. Blachowicz was looking to show the world that his Polish Power can stop even the best of strikers.

UFC 259 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 259 main event opened with a leg kick from Adesanya. Blachowicz tried a couple of leg kicks of his own, but Adesanya slides out of the way. Blachowicz pushed forward trying to close the distance.

Adesanya was patient just trying to get the timing down. A couple of nice kicks land for Adesanya. Blachowicz pushes forward with big shots, but nothing lands. Two minutes in and nothing significant has landed for either champion.

Blachowicz again tries to close the distance, but can’t land. Adesanya throws a headkick that gets blocked. A nice jab to the body lands for Blachowicz. A big headkick is thrown by Blachowicz, but Adesanya blocks it. However, it was powerful.

A nice 1-2 lands for Adesanya. This is a very high level chess match in the first round. A good body kick lands for Blachowicz. A good front kick lands for Adesanya. Blachowicz pushes forward and lands a nice body kick. Round one comes to a close and I’m not sure which UFC champion takes the first. I lean Adesanya.

Round 2

The second round at UFC 259 started and both men were still feeling the other out. A nice body kick lands for Blachowicz to start the striking. The pace appears to be picking up a little her in the second.

Blachowicz is landing more, but he’s a little out of range. A nice check left hooks lands for Blachowicz. A nice stiff left lands for Adesanya and Blachowicz storms forward with big shots. A powerful jab lands for Blachowicz.

Jab to the body lands for Blachowicz, and now Adesanya is opening up a little. Adesanya moving forward with more pressure here in the second. A nice low kick lands for Adesanya. The two men come together in a clinch and Blachowicz tries for a takedown.

However, Adesanya defends well and they stay standing. Blachowicz pushes forward trying to land bombs, but nothing big lands. A nice body kick and left straight lands for Adesanya. One minute left in this round and it’s up for grabs.

Stiff jab lands for Adesanya and Blachowicz blitzes again. Good body kick lands for Blachowicz. A couple of nice low kicks land for Adesanya. Good jab and leg kick lands for Adesanya. Round two comes to a close and I think it’s 1-1 at UFC 259.

Round 3

Third round opens with immediate pressure from the UFC middleweight champion. Blachowicz starts the striking with a leg kick. Adesanya comes in and Blachowicz blitzes to back him off. A good left hook lands for Blachowicz.

A mad scramble and a stinging shot rocks Blachowicz. Adesanya is almost fighting mad now and he’s touching Blachowicz more here in the third. A nice jab lands for Adesanya. Blachowicz forces a clinch and pushes Adesanya against the fence.

Adesanya breaks the clinch and immediately throws a big leg kick. Both men trade power jabs. Adesanya’s speed was allowing him to get the better of the striking here in the third. Another round of nice shots from the UFC’s middleweight champion find their target.

Blachowicz lands a body kick off of another blitz. A very stiff jab lands for Blachowicz. Adesanya lands a jab, but Blachowicz counters with a big left hook. Blachowicz forces a clinch briefly, but Adesanya breaks it. Round three is in the books, and this fight is razor close. I lean 2-1 Adesanya at UFC 259.

Round 4

The UFC light heavyweight champion opens the fourth with pressure and immediately looks for a takedown. However, Adesanya defended well and kept the fight against the fence. A nice right hand lands for Blachowicz off the break.

Another big shot lands for Blachowicz. The fourth round is going well for Jan Blachowicz. A powerful leg kick lands for Adesanya, but Blachowicz lands a massive body kick to counter. A beautiful counter right lands for Adesanya.

Adesanya starts opening up with his striking and Blachowicz lands a takedown. They are in the middle of the cage and Blachowicz is heavy with the pressure. Adesanya was looking for ways out, but Blachowicz was too much with his top pressure.

A couple of nice hammer fists land for Jan Blachowicz. Blachowicz passes into side control and he was just riding him here in the fourth round. A dominant fourth round for Jan Blachowicz and it’s 2-2 in my opinion at UFC 259.

Round 5

Entering the final round and whoever wins this round will be the UFC light heavyweight champion. Both men trade leg kicks to open the striking. Blachowicz was breathing very heavy in the fifth round, but Adesanya looked tired too.

A nice lead right hand lands for Adesanya. Blachowicz tries to push forward, but his speed wasn’t there at all. A big jab lands for Blachowicz. However, Adesanya counters well with a couple of shots.

A big overhand right lands for Adesanya. Blachowicz lands a nice kick, but Adesanya counters with a big 1-2. Beautiful spinning back kick lands for Adesanya. A big takedown attempt and Blachowicz gets Adesanya down.

If Adesanya can’t get up, this is going to be the fight. Adesanya has no answer on the ground and he’s just letting Blachowicz control him on the ground. We’re into the final minute and Blachowicz is just riding him. The round comes to a close and Jan Blachowicz should take this one and remain UFC light heavyweight champion.

Jan Blachowicz def. Israel Adesanya by Split Decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45)

UFC 259 Preview: Jan Blachowicz – Israel Adesanya

Corey Anderson

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC 259, we will get to see a champion take on another champion. The middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya (20-0), is moving up to light heavyweight to challenge the king at 205, Jan Blachowicz (27-8).

What a career turnaround it’s been for the UFC‘s light heavyweight champion. Just a few years ago, Blachowicz was 2-4 in six fights inside the octagon. Blachowicz had his back against the wall and was on the verge of getting cut by the UFC.

That’s when he really started to dedicate himself to his career. Blachowicz won four straight fights which included wins over Jared Cannonier, Jimi Manuwa, and Nikita Krylov. He then suffered a setback against Thiago Santos just before reaching a title shot.

After that, the “Polish Power” really kicked in. Blachowicz knocked out Luke Rockhold and Corey Anderson to earn himself a title shot against Dominick Reyes. At UFC 253, Blachowicz stopped Reyes in the second round to become the first male champion from Poland.

That same night, Israel Adesanya was defending his middleweight title against Paulo Costa. It was a dominant performance and Adesanya defended his UFC title for the second time. Having run through the middleweight division, Adesanya was seeking a new challenge.

With the end goal of fighting Jon Jones, Adesanya decided to move up and try to capture the UFC light heavyweight title. Adesanya has become one of the biggest stars in the sport and he’s on the verge of doing something truly special.

UFC 259 Prediction

The UFC 259 main event is going to be so much fun. You have arguably the best striker in all of MMA taking on someone who has ungodly power and unquestionable will. I’m so fascinated by this matchup, but the avenues for victory are very clear for both men.

Jan Blachowicz cannot fight Israel Adesanya the way he fought Dominick Reyes. Yes, he has that famous Polish Power, but if he tries to kickbox with Adesanya from the outside, he’s going to get lit up like a Polish Christmas Tree.

Adesanya is so good at utilizing range and gauging the timing of his opponents. For Blachowicz to be successful, he needs to come forward with instant pressure. He needs to force clinches, look for takedowns and ways to keep Adesanya from getting comfortable.

For Adesanya, he needs to keep the fight at range. If he can keep Blachowicz off of him, he’s going to become a two-division UFC champion. Now, who do I think is actually going to be successful in this?

I think it’s just Israel Adesanya’s time right now. Blachowicz has had an incredible run to the title, but I think it ends tomorrow night. I think the speed and accuracy is just going to be too much. By the third round, I think the final shots will find their target and Israel Adesanya will be the new UFC light heavyweight champion.

Prediction: Israel Adesanya by TKO – Round 3

Paulo Costa blames wine and lack of sleep for UFC 253 loss

We are a few months removed from UFC 253. That night, the middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya (20-0), took on the previously unbeaten challenger, Paulo Costa (13-1). The fight was one of the more anticipated matchups of 2020.

However, the fight failed to live up to the hype mainly due to the challenger. While Adesanya was brilliant in scoring the knockout win at UFC 253, Costa fought extremely flat. He didn’t land anything significant before Adesanya landed the finishing blows.

It was such an odd performance from Paulo Costa. Prior to that loss, Costa was always known as someone who pushes forward with a ridiculous pace. However, at UFC 253, Costa was stuck on the outside and he didn’t push forward at all.

This left a lot of fans scratching their heads. Costa is currently prepping for his next matchup against Robert Whittaker. Their fight takes place in April and the winner is likely going to get another crack at the UFC middleweight champion.

Costa has broken his silence about his last performance. Over the weekend, Costa took to his YouTube page to talk about the loss. In all honesty, I was a little surprised to hear what he had to say and what he attributes the loss to.

UFC 253 sabotaged by a hangover?

On the UFC 253 loss, Costa said, “I was kind of drunk when I fought, maybe hungover. I couldn’t sleep because of leg cramps. The UFC told us to wake up at 5 in the morning to go to the arena to fight. I hadn’t slept until 2:30.”

“It was my mistake and I don’t blame anyone else, it was something I chose [to do], but, in order to try to sleep, because I had to sleep since I was awake for 24 hours, I had wine, too much wine, a bottle to try to black out. I had a glass and didn’t work. Two glasses, it didn’t work. Half bottle, didn’t work. I had it all.”

Clearly, it doesn’t sound like the condition were ideal for Costa. However, it’s not like his experience on Fight Island was unique. All of the fighters had to go through the same issues when they were fighting in Abu Dhabi.

Now, maybe there were more factors at play here. Perhaps the nerves of the moment caused Costa to be anxious which prevented him from sleeping. There are a number of question marks, but it was clear that we didn’t see the usual Costa back in September.

When he steps into the cage next, he needs to prove to the UFC and himself that the last fight was a fluke. Costa must show the world that he’s still the Paulo Costa we thought he was if he wants any chance at a rematch with Israel Adesanya.

UFC books headliner between Darren Till and Marvin Vettori

The UFC is making moves with their middleweight division. Last night, we learned that the promotion had finalized a bout between Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker that would headline a Fight Night on April 17th. 

Today, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report that the UFC has finalized another incredible middleweight matchup. On April 10th, Darren Till (18-3-1) and Marvin Vettori (16-4-1) will headline another Fight Night.

This is going to be a massive seven day stretch for the middleweight division. Darren Till last fought back in July when he took on former UFC champion, Robert Whittaker (22-5).

The fight was extremely close, but Whittaker pulled out a decision. Till was originally supposed to headline a card against Jack Hermansson (21-6) in December, however he ended up injured and the promotion moved to Kevin Holland (21-5).

However, Holland ended up testing positive for COVID and he was pulled from that fight. That is when Marvin Vettori stepped into the picture. Vettori had another fight booked, but stepped up for the UFC and took that fight against Hermansson.

UFC’s Middleweight Division

Marvin Vettori looked sensational in December when he fought Hermansson. In his first UFC headliner, Vettori dropped and hurt Hermansson early on. He went on to dominate the fight for all five rounds.

The win was a massive statement and the fourth straight for Vettori. Vettori now finds himself fourth in the UFC’s middleweight rankings one spot behind Darren Till. However, Vettori has expressed frustrations with being ranked behind Till.

Nevertheless, now the two will get a chance to prove who is the better fighter. As mentioned, this is a huge seven day stretch for the middleweight division. Let us not forget that Kevin Holland and Derek Brunson (21-7) are also headlining a Fight Night on March 20th. 

This stretch from March through April has big implications for the middleweight division. Israel Adesanya (20-0) is moving up to challenge for the light heavyweight title, however, upon his return to middleweight, there should be a lot of clarity with all these matchups.

UFC books Robert Whittaker – Paulo Costa

The UFC has finalized a massive fight in their middleweight division this evening. First reported by Sherdog, the promotion has booked a headliner between former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker (22-5), and Paulo Costa (13-1).

This UFC main event will take place on April 17th. For the last month or two, this fight was being rumored. The current middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya (20-0), is moving up to challenge for the light heavyweight championship at UFC 259.

Robert Whittaker was due for a rematch against Adesanya. Whittaker went 2-0 in 2020 and the two guys he beat were supposed to get title shots had they beaten Whittaker. However, Whittaker messed up those plans.

Bobby Knuckles has only lost once in the last six years in the middleweight division. That one loss has come to Israel Adesanya. If there’s anyone that deserves a rematch, it’s Robert Whittaker. However, Dana White recently said that Whittaker would have to fight again before getting that UFC title shot.

Big UFC Middleweight Battle

That is where Borrachinha enters the picture. Paulo Costa is coming off of a loss to Israel Adesanya back at UFC 253. Costa was the unbeaten challenger who many felt would push Adesanya to the limits.

However, Costa had a really tough time getting going against Adesanya. Adesanya brutalized him with leg kicks and shots from the outside. Eventually, the UFC champion caught Costa and put him down for good in the second round.

Costa got right back in the gym after the fight and he’s been making improvements. His team has been calling for a shot at Whittaker with Adesanya moving up for now and they got their wish.

However, originally Costa’s management wanted this fight to be for the interim UFC middleweight title. Dana White said recently that there would be no interim title despite the fact that Adesanya is moving up.

As of now, the UFC’s plan is for Adesanya to face the winner later in the year. Adesanya has made it clear that he plans to return to middleweight after capturing a second title. One of these two killers will be waiting for him upon his return.

Corey Anderson says Bellator is better than the UFC at light heavyweight

Corey Anderson

2020 turned out to be an eventful year for Bellator‘s Corey Anderson (14-5). When the year started, Anderson was one of the top contenders in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. He appeared to be one win away from a title shot.

However, Jan Blachowicz (27-8) starched Anderson in February to claim that top contender status. After Anderson was knocked out, he had a series of health concerns that kept him from competing. These health scares also had him reevaluate his career.

Anderson decided to go to the UFC and ask for more money. When the promotion wasn’t willing to, he asked for a release to be able to look around in the market. The UFC released Anderson and Bellator signed him almost immediately.

It turned out to be the first of several moves like this for Bellator. After signing Anderson, Bellator would go on to sign Yoel Romero (13-5) and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (22-6) after they were released from the UFC.

Those top three contenders join the likes of Vadim Nemkov (12-2), Ryan Bader (27-6, 1 NC), and Phil Davis (22-5, 1 NC). It’s safe to say that Bellator’s light heavyweight division has never been better.

In fact, it’s so good that Anderson believes it’s the best on the planet. Anderson told MMA Fighting, “I just feel right now Bellator has the upper hand. Jones has left. They’ve got these hype trains. These young guys UFC has coming in they’re trying to hype up but I feel like their legitimacy aren’t like the vets that were there that are in Bellator now.”

Bellator or the UFC?

If we are going to go on pure name recognition, it’s hard to argue Corey Anderson’s point. Bellator has some serious name power in their light heavyweight division. However, it is the best in the sport?

In all honesty, if you’re looking at the totality of their top five, it might be. The UFC’s top contender is Glover Teixeira (32-7) who was knocked out in 14 seconds by Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.

Then again, there’s also Dominick Reyes (12-2) and Jiri Prochazka (27-3-1) in the UFC’s top five. Prochazka stopped Bellator’s champion, Vadim Nemkov, when the two of them faced off a few years ago.

Another interesting wrinkle to throw into things is the light heavyweight debut of Israel Adesanya (20-0). Stylebender is fighting Blachowicz for the UFC light heavyweight title in March.

Anderson definitely has an argument that Bellator is just as good if not better at 205 than the UFC. However, I believe the best light heavyweight in the world right now is Jan Blachowicz with Jon Jones moving up.

Overall, the UFC has a deeper division due to the amount of fighters on the roster and they have younger contenders. While Bellator is right there, I would still give the advantage to the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, the UFC.

Should Robert Whittaker be upset with the UFC?

There is not really any doubt as to who is the number one contender in the UFC‘s middleweight division. The top contender in the division is the former champion, Robert Whittaker (22-5).

Whittaker lost the title to Israel Adesanya (20-0) at UFC 243 in 2019. However, outside of that fight against Adesanya, Whittaker has been perfect in the middleweight division. There’s been nobody who’s been able to defeat him.

Recently, it was announced that the UFC is having Adesanya move up to face Jan Blachowicz (27-8) at UFC 259. Adesanya will be attempting to become a two-division champion by capturing the light heavyweight championship.

The fighter that’s left in limbo in this situation is Robert Whittaker. There is nobody in the middleweight division that is more deserving of a shot at Adesanya than Whittaker. However, the promotion doesn’t believe that he’s ready for a shot at the title.

After UFC 254, Dana White said that Whittaker would be next for Adesanya. The promotion wanted to turn the fight around quick, but with a baby on the way, Whittaker wanted to spend the holidays with his family. That’s when the promotion changed their tune.

Should Whittaker be upset with the UFC?

Dana White said recently that Whittaker needs to fight someone else before he gets his next UFC title shot. In my opinion, this should be incredibly frustrating for the former middleweight champion.

Whittaker’s only loss at middleweight was to Adesanya. Outside of that, he’s been unbeaten since 2014. Darren Till (18-3-1) and Jared Cannonier (13-5) were both guaranteed title shots if they beat Whittaker in 2020.

However, Whittaker beat both of those contenders. It’s puzzling that the logic from the promotion is that Whittaker needs another win, however, I know that they’ll say it’s because he turned down their timeline for the middleweight title shot.

Yet, Jan Blachowicz had the same issue as Whittaker. Blachowicz just had a baby with his wife before resuming training for their fight in March. I have a strong feeling that Whittaker could have made that timeline work.

Ultimately, I believe the UFC and Adesanya were only interested in the Whittaker fight if it was able to happen quickly. The plan has been for them to move Adesanya up to light heavyweight to further his star power.

However, it’s not fair to the former champion. People have had title shots for much less and champions who have lost have gotten immediate title shots with less of a championship resume. I absolutely believe that Whittaker should be frustrated.

UFC rebooks Petr Yan – Aljamain Sterling

The UFC has finalized the much anticipated bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan (15-1) and Aljamain Sterling (19-3). MMA Junkie was the first outlet to report that the sides had finalized the new fight date.

The UFC bantamweight title fight will officially take place on March 6th at UFC 259. The PPV card is turning out to be quite the spectacle as the promotion has already booked Adesanya – Blachowicz and Nunes – Anderson for UFC 259.

Now, we get to add Yan and Sterling to the mix. Yan has looked untouchable since he made his octagon debut back in 2018. He’s gone on a seven fight run that has led him to the undisputed bantamweight title.

After Henry Cejudo (16-2) vacated the bantamweight title after UFC 249, the UFC decided to pair Yan up against the former featherweight champion, Jose Aldo (29-7). Yan was tested early on, but in the end, he dominated and finished Aldo in the fifth round.

It turned out to be a devastating performance as Yan captured the bantamweight championship. Yan looks like he’s going to be incredibly tough to beat, however, his opponent on March 6th seems very much up to the task.

Sterling’s UFC title shot

There is nobody in the UFC that is more deserving of a title shot than Aljamain Sterling. Sterling was arguably the top bantamweight contender alongside Yan prior to the Aldo fight.

However, prior to Cejudo fighting Dominick Cruz (22-3) at UFC 249, Cejudo was supposed to fight Aldo. Aldo couldn’t travel due to the pandemic so Cruz stepped in. Despite Sterling being ranked higher, Aldo got the title shot against Yan because he had been promised one previously.

Sterling had to wait and fight Cory Sandhagen (13-2). Sandhagen looked like he was going to be incredibly tough to beat, however, Sterling went right through him and choked him unconscious in less than 90 seconds.

For his win, Sterling was given a title shot against Yan in December. However, Yan had to pull out of the fight and the UFC has been working on a replacement date. They have found one on an incredibly stacked card on March 6th.