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

UFC Update: Injury to Dominick Reyes pushes back the Jiri Prochazka fight

Dominick Reyes

A massive fight in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division is being pushed back. First reported by Farah Hannoun, the fight between Dominick Reyes (12-2) and Jiri Prochazka (27-3-1) is off. There are reports circulating this morning saying that a Reyes injury forced the fight back.

Originally, this fight was supposed to headline the UFC‘s fight night on February 27th. However, yesterday a tweet from Jairzinho Rozenstruik signaled that the fight might be in jeopardy. We now know that Rozenstruik – Ciryl Gane is going to headline the 2/27 card. 

At this time, there is no word on the significance of the injury to Dominick Reyes. Reyes was looking to bounce back in 2021 after having a very tough 2020. Dominick Reyes fought Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) last February at UFC 247.

The fight was razor close and many believed that Reyes won the fight. However, the judges gave the fight to Jon Jones. After that fight, Jones would ultimately decide to vacate the light heavyweight title to pursue the heavyweight title.

At UFC 253, Reyes got another opportunity against Jan Blachowicz (27-8). Reyes was looked at as the uncrowned champion going into the contest. However, the legendary Polish Power put Reyes down in the second round to capture the light heavyweight title.

That loss was just the icing on the cake of a rough year for Dominick Reyes. He rode a ton of momentum into that fight with many believing he defeated the goat just to be stopped by Blachowicz. This fight with Prochazka is a chance for him to right the ship.

UFC Newcomer

On the UFC’s first trip to Fight Island, Jiri Prochazka made his highly anticipated debut with the promotion. The global MMA scene was very familiar with Prochazka, but he was a bit of an unknown to a lot of fight fans.

The promotion gave him a tough test right away in former title challenger, Volkan Oezdemir (17-5). The fight was incredibly entertaining and Prochazka showed off some of his personality in that fight.

In the second round, Prochazka landed a massive right hand that put Oezdemir out cold. A huge UFC debut for Prochazka and that win launched him into the top five of the rankings. If he can beat Dominick Reyes whenever they fight, Jiri Prochazka might be getting a title shot in 2021.

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.

Who will be the UFC champions after 2021? (Welterweight – Heavyweight)

UFC, Jon Jones

Yesterday, I went through the UFC’s flyweight – lightweight divisions and listed out who I believed would be standing as champion after 2021. Unlike 2020, I’m expecting some title to change hands inside the octagon in 2021.

2020 was the first time in the modern UFC era that not a single champion lost their title in a fight. Belts were vacated in 2020, however, if a champion made the walk with the belt, they walked out with the belt.

2021 is promising to be a very tough year for the UFC champions. Every one who is a current title holder is more than capable of holding on to their belts, however, it’s going to be far from easy.

The fights we already know about that are booked look tough on the champions. For example, the UFC is booking Petr Yan (15-1) against Aljamain Sterling (19-3) and Alexander Volkanovski (22-1) against Brian Ortega (15-1,1 NC).

The champions will likely enter the octagon as the betting favorite in both of those matchups. However, I personally see both challengers as the favorites when looking at the skillsets and attributes inside those matchups.

The champions in the heavier divisions are also in for some rough matchups in 2021. Lets go from the welterweight division through the UFC‘s heavyweight division and pick who will be standing as champion after this year.

UFC Champions after 2021 (Welterweight – Heavyweight)

Welterweight – Gilbert Burns

The first division up is the UFC’s welterweight division. Champion, Kamaru Usman (17-1), is booked to face Gilbert Burns (19-3) in the headliner of UFC 258. This fight has been booked a couple of times.

Originally, the two men were supposed to fight at UFC 251. However, Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and didn’t end up getting the shot. The promotion then tried to book this fight for December, but Kamaru Usman needed a little time to heal from his last fight.

Now, these former teammates are finally going to battle. Kamaru Usman lives up to his nickname in that he’s a nightmare for virtually all of his opponents. His strong wrestling and smothering style are incredibly difficult to deal with.

It’s one of the reasons why he hasn’t lost since his second professional fight. Usman is sensational, however, if there’s one man who has the style to beat Usman, it’s Gilbert Burns.

Burns is world class on the ground as a BJJ world champion. Not only that, but in 2020, he showed just how dangerous his hands are. He’s incredibly fast and powerful on the feet. I believe he will have the striking advantage whenever these two fight.

For now, I think that Burns is going to get the job done next month. I just think he has the perfect style to become the UFC champion. In looking at welterweight right now, I’m not sure anyone will take the belt from Burns if he gets it. At least not in 2021.

Middleweight & Light Heavyweight – Israel Adesanya

I’m lumping these next two UFC divisions together because I think one man will hold both titles after 2021. The middleweight and light heavyweight champion after 2021 will be The Last Stylebender, Israel Adesanya (20-0).

After doubting him for a while, I’m completely sold on Adesanya. Every time you start to doubt this man or believe someone will give him problems, he puts on the best performance of his career to shut everyone up.

Very much reminds me of Anderson Silva in his prime in that sense. Adesanya is already the middleweight champion and I don’t see anyone posing a threat to him at 185. I believe he’s just head and shoulders ahead of the competition there.

Adesanya is moving up to challenge Jan Blachowicz (27-8) at UFC 259 for the light heavyweight championship. This is going to be a tough fight for stylebender and Blachowicz is the most powerful fighter that Adesanya has ever fought.

It’s not going to be an easy fight, however, I think when it’s over, Adesanya is getting his second title. I’m not sure what fights will come after that for Adesanya, but I believe he will defeat anyone at either division that’s not named Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC).

Heavyweight – Jon Jones

Last but not least, we have the UFC’s heavyweight division. Who will leave 2021 with the title of baddest man on the planet? Well, I believe that the baddest man on the plan will also have the title as The GOAT.

Jon Jones is currently working on his move to the heavyweight division. Jones vacated his light heavyweight title in 2020 to focus on capturing the heavyweight championship of the world.

Stipe Miocic (20-3) currently reigns at heavyweight. Miocic is the greatest heavyweight in UFC history with two title reigns and a combined four title defenses which is unheard of in the heavyweight division.

Stipe has a very tough test in front of him for his first title defense of 2021. Miocic is taking on Francis Ngannou (15-3) for the second time. This fight is expected to take place in either March or April.

In my heart of hearts, I don’t see Stipe Miocic winning the rematch. He dominated the first fight between the two, but I believe both men are heading in opposite directions. Francis Ngannou is going to become the champion.

However, regardless of who wins, the winner will fight Jon Jones in either the summer or the fall. I think that a motivated Jon Jones beats either one of those men. Yes, Francis has power, but Jones’ striking defense is sensational.

I think his style would keep Ngannou at range and he’d be able to beat him on the cards. At this stage in their careers, I don’t see Miocic being able to beat Jones really wherever the fight goes. With that in mind, Bones will leave 2021 with heavyweight gold.

Israel Adesanya could become the UFC’s first three-division champion

One of the biggest stars in the UFC today is the middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya (20-0). The undefeated Adesanya has exploded in popularity over the last couple of years due to his performances and his personality.

The Last Stylebender has an incredibly flashy style inside and outside the octagon. Even his ring walks are entertaining like the dancing routine he did prior to his fight with Robert Whittaker at UFC 243.

I will be the first to admit, I thought Adesanya was more hype than substance. While I thought he was good, I didn’t foresee him being nearly as good as he’s shown. Stylebender has shown me that as soon as you doubt him, he performs his best.

After he defeated Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236, he earned a lot of respect due to the heart that he showed. However, he also showed that he wasn’t invincible and many believed that Robert Whittaker would take him out at UFC 243.

Instead, Adesanya destroyed Whittaker and knocked him out in the second round. Early in the year last year, Adesanya took on Yoel Romero at UFC 248. The fight was far from entertaining and some even believed that Romero won the fight.

With the lack of action in the fight, some cooled off Stylebender. I will be the first to admit that I actually picked him to lose to Paulo Costa at UFC 253. Instead, Adesanya dazzled again and won by second round knockout.

UFC’s first three-division world champion

News recently broke that Adesanya is going to be moving up in his next fight. He’s going to be moving up to light heavyweight at UFC 259 to challenge the light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz (27-8).

It’ll be a big test for Adesanya. It’ll be interesting to see how he holds up against someone as powerful as Blachowicz. While Adesanya’s current plan is to win the title and ultimately return to middleweight, he could have the chance at history.

Adesanya has been very vocal about his future desire to fight Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC). Jones is considered by many to be the greatest fighter of all time. Jones is currently preparing for a heavyweight title fight later this year.

If Jones and Adesanya both were to win, a superfight could materialize. I could see the UFC attempting to pair the two against each other at heavyweight. If that were to happen, Adesanya would have the chance to hold three belts at the same time which has never been done before.

Even if Jones doesn’t win the title and let’s say Stipe Miocic (20-3) remains the champion, Adesanya’s coach has talked about fighting Stipe. The interest is there for Stylebender to potentially test himself at heavyweight as well.

The reality is that there is a roadmap for Adesanya to do something truly special in the UFC. Holding three titles simultaneously has never even been discussed before. However, Adesanya could become the first fighter in history to do it between this year and next.

UFC champions that are likely to lose in 2021

Corey Anderson

2020 was a great year if you were a UFC champion. Not a single champion lost their title in a title fight during 2020. There were some vacated title, however, nobody lost their title inside the octagon.

I don’t believe we are going to see the same thing for the UFC champions in 2021. There are some stacked divisions in the UFC and there are champions that have incredibly tough title defenses ahead of them.

There are a few champions who aren’t even going to be favored in their next title defense. Even if the champions get through their first difficult defense, many divisions have even tougher matchups awaiting the champions.

With that, I wanted to go through the divisions and pick out some UFC champions that I believe are at the highest risk in 2021. Some titles won’t change hands in 2021 while others are almost guarantees in my opinion.

Three UFC champions that will lose in 2021

Stipe Miocic

The first champion and in my opinion the most likely champion that I see losing his UFC title in 2021 is Stipe Miocic (20-3). The greatest heavyweight in the promotions history has a nightmare of a year in front of him in 2021.

Miocic’s first title defense will come against Francis Ngannou (15-3). The fight is a rematch from UFC 220. That night saw Miocic completely dominate Ngannou and overwhelm the dangerous challenger.

However, I believe that the rematch is going to go differently. Ngannou has rededicated himself to his career and I believe he’s going to enter their title fight better than ever. I can’t say the same thing for the UFC heavyweight champion.

I’m not sure we are going to see the best version of Stipe Miocic whenever they fight. Stipe is definitely capable of winning, but he’s going to need to be the best version of himself. Anything short of it and he’s getting put to sleep.

Let’s say that Stipe Miocic makes it through Ngannou. Well, then he has to face the greatest of all time in Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC). Jones is moving to heavyweight after dominating the UFC’s light heavyweight division for over a decade.

So if Miocic makes it through Ngannou, he has an even tougher task in front of him in defeating Jon Jones. With those two challenges in front of him, I don’t see Miocic making it out of 2021 with the UFC heavyweight title.

Jan Blachowicz

The next UFC champion that will fall in 2021 is the new light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz (27-8). Blachowicz has completely turned his career around the last few years and it culminated at UFC 253.

That night, Blachowicz took on Dominick Reyes (12-2) for the light heavyweight title. Reyes was the favorite, however, Blachowicz used his famous Polish Power to dominate Reyes and capture the title.

Blachowicz has all of the makings to be a UFC champion that could reign for a while. However, he has a nightmare of a matchup in his first defense. He will be taking on the middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya (20-0), at UFC 259.

Adesanya is moving up to try and become a two-division UFC champion. I believe this is an awful matchup for Blachowicz. The light heavyweight champion is going to go have to either grapple Adesanya or catch him with one big shot.

He’s definitely got the power to put Adesanya out, but in a pure striking matchup, I think he’s going to get lit up. While it’s been a great story, I think the reign of the Polish Power ends at UFC 259 at the hands of Israel Adesanya.

Alexander Volkanovski

The final UFC champion that I will touch on is the featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski (22-1). Volkanovski has been on an incredible run inside the octagon and he’s going to be defending his featherweight title for the second time in early 2021.

Volkanovski’s first title defense came at UFC 251 against former champion, Max Holloway (21-6). In the eyes of most, Holloway won that fight, but two of the judges gave the fight to Volkanovski.

It marked the second straight win for Volkanovski over Holloway. Had it not been the second straight win, we’d likely have seen an immediate rematch. Nevertheless, the division is moving forward to start the year.

First up for Volkanovski will be Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC). Ortega is fresh off of his victory over The Korean Zombie back in October. In my opinion, the Brian Ortega we saw that night was the best featherweight in the UFC.

His striking had gotten so much better since the last time we saw him. He’s big, he’s elite on the ground and now his striking is developed. He’s going to be an extremely tough out for the UFC champion.

However, should Volkanovski get by Ortega, there’s a number of difficult fights. I could see him having to fight Holloway again and after the second fight, I might lean towards Max Holloway in the trilogy.

Another tough fight for Volkanovski could be Zabit Magomedsharipov (18-1). Zabit didn’t fight in 2020, however, he’s looked at as one of the best contenders in the division. Zabit could cause a lot of problems for Volkanovski.

Out of the three champions I’ve listed, Volkanovski would be the one I’m the least surprised by keeping his UFC title. However, with the guys lined up behind him, I would bet on him falling in 2021.