UFC 259: Blachowicz Defends Belt Against Adesanya with Late Ground Control
Israel Adesanya will not be the UFC's fifth two-division champion as Jan Blachowicz defended his light-heavyweight throne on Saturday night in a five-round war. Adesanya looked sharp early and outsped Blachowicz with his striking, but the incumbent landed several significant strikes to keep the scorecards close and sealed the deal with two key takedowns in rounds four and five. In each of those championship rounds, Blachowicz used his significant weight advantage and grappling skills to remain on top of Adesanya until the bell. After the match, Blachowicz told Joe Rogan that he would like to take on Glover Teixeira for his next title defense.
As for the other championship bouts, the first saw an unbelievable disqualification after defending bantamweight champion Petr Yan executed a blatantly illegal knee to the head of challenger Aljamain Sterling while he was grounded that resulted in an obvious concussion. Overcome with emotion, Sterling had the belt strapped around the waist just to let it fall to the ground seconds later because he did not want to be crowned in that fashion. According to Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was near Yan's corner, Yan asked his corner if he was allowed to kick while Sterling was on the ground. His corner reportedly responded in the affirmative, and Yan threw the illegal technique. Sterling had incredible output in the opening two rounds, causing fatigue in the third and fourth when Yan started to swing the momentum in his favor. It is impossible to predict how the fight would have ended, but it is almost a certainty that we will see a rematch once sterling recovers.
The women's bout between two-division champion and undisputed greatest female mixed martial artist of all time, Amanda Nunes, and new challenger Megan Anderson. The champion's power and skill advantage was evident from the opening shots, and Nunes promptly dropped Anderson to finish her off with a merciful submission. The UFC's 145-pound women's division has now been completely cleared out by The Lioness, and the only foreseeable challenger for Nunes appears to be flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko at 135 pounds in a mega-fight.