Jan Blachowicz has been doubted at every turn on his rise to becoming the light heavyweight champion, and it continued ahead of his first title defense on Saturday.
However, he once again defied the odds to retain his championship in the main event of UFC 259 with a win over middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in Adesanya’s bid to become a two-division champion.
Recall that Blachowicz was also a betting underdog against the rising champion Adesanya on Saturday as he held on to his 205-pound title.
Blachowicz and Adesanya fought a tense first three rounds, with both men looking to minimize mistakes and make the other pay. It was in the championship rounds that Blachowicz showed off his championship bona fides, finally using his size and strength advantage to take down Adesanya and grind away with ground and pound.
Piling away the points in those big closing rounds allowed Blachowicz to pull away on the scorecards, earning the victory by scores of 49-46, 49-45 and 49-45.
“I thought that he would be a little bit faster, but he don’t hit so hard,” Blachowicz said following his victory. “He was slower, but he hit harder, this was something I don’t expect. I should do my left hand a little bit more, I should do more jabs, put more pressure on him. But game plan is one, and fight is second, a different thing.”
As for what’s next for the champion? Blachowicz believes the next man up should be veteran light heavyweight Glover Teixeira.
“I think [Teixeira] deserves it,” Blachowicz said. “He’ll have to wait a little bit, so I can rest and be with my family. But he will wait, he will be next.”
Blachowicz retains the title in a big upset! NG Times brings you the detailed official as the fight ends in Las Vegas Saturday night;
Official result: Blachowicz def. Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45).
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