Jan Blachowicz has defeated Israel Adesanya to retain his light heavyweight title by unanimous decision at UFC 259 in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Jan Blachowicz (28-8) was awarded an upset unanimous decision victory over Israel Adesanya (20-1) after judges handed scores of 49-46, 49-45, and 49-45 in favor of the Polish champion.
In the first three rounds, both men minimised mistakes and scrambled to find their stance but Blachowicz bulldozes his way into a dominant mounting position in the fourth and fifth rounds.
Israel Adesanya had intended to burnish the legend as he aimed to become the fifth fighter in UFC history to become a two-weight champion simultaneously.
The Nigerian had stepped into the octagon against Jan Blachowicz, the light-heavyweight title-holder, in a bid to add to his middleweight championship honours.
The Pole is bigger, more experienced, and older, but Adesanya had said none of these qualities troubled him.
With his defeat, the “Stylebender” has failed in his recent bid to join Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes, and Henry Cejudo as one of the five fighters in UFC history to hold titles in two divisions simultaneously.
The loss is Adesanya’s first in the UFC but the Nigerian-born New Zealander says the fight did not go according to plan.
“I thought I was going to win. The fight didn’t go exactly the way it wanted to go,” Adesanya said.
“The size did play a factor but I could have done better. This is not a one-off. I’m definitely going to come back.
“I dared to be great and now I go back to the middleweight and rule it with an iron fist.”
An excited Blachowicz hailed Adesanya’s technique but said he would have loved to knock out the middleweight champion.
“If I had knocked him out it would have been better but he is a great fighter. I am very happy I handed him his first defeat,” Blachowicz said.
“He hit harder than I thought. He was a bit slower than I expected. He thought I was going to take him down earlier but I had to wait till he was tired.“