UFC 259: Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya Recap

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UFC 259: Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya Recap
UFC women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

This past weekend, we were fortunate enough to have three title fights in UFC 259; and I’m sure the majority of us made a big deal out of it – well, at least all MMA fans! Whether you were out having a drink with some friends while watching the fights, or stayed at home to enjoy the comforts of your favorite couch, we all experienced the same jaw-dropping moments. 

The three title fights consisted of one that left us shaking our heads, one where we were not surprised by the outcome, and one that humbled the majority of opinions. If you were unable to tune in to UFC 259, then read along with me to relive these memorable moments.  

UFC Bantamweight Title Bout: Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling

The first matchup that left us “shaking our heads” was the UFC Bantamweight Title Bout in Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling. Now, if you simply Google “Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling”, you will see some pretty enthusiastic remarks — and when I say enthusiastic, I mean comments saying “DISGRACEFUL”.  

This fight was considered “disgraceful” because Petr Yan threw an illegal knee to the temple of Aljamain Sterling while he was on the ground, rewarding Sterling with the new champion title. I can say before Yan threw the illegal knee; the fight was extremely close. Sterling landed heavy shots on Yan, and Yan reciprocated. Yan also managed 7 out of 7 takedowns against Sterling — one takedown being a cool foot sweep to ground Sterling.  

In all honesty, I believe Yan would have had this fight if it wasn’t for that unlawful move towards the end of the fourth round. Both fighters were extremely active throughout the fight, but as the rounds moved on, the more Sterling appeared to be tired. Both fighters did not want it to end in this manner, and the beef between the two still continues on social media.  

Aljamain Sterling (20-3-0) entered this fight Saturday night with UFC odds at +105, and Petr Yan (15-2-0) priced at -125. Since Sterling is now the new UFC Bantamweight Champion by DQ, will we be able to see Yan and Sterling go at it again? Or is winning a Championship Title by DQ worth moving on?  

UFC Women’s Featherweight Title Bout: Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson — Co-Main

The second title bout of the night lasted only two minutes long. Are we even surprised though? As the co-main event, Amanda Nunes defended her title once again.  

Leading up to this fight, it was clear for the public that Amanda Nunes was the way to go. Some money started flowing in on Megan Anderson as her height appeared to intimidate some bettors. But we should all keep in mind, having a height and reach advantage over Nunes is typically never a huge deal.  

Nunes began the fight looking for a finish. Her heavy hands connected with Anderson, making her more vulnerable in the cage. Trying to save herself and put herself in a “better” position, Anderson attempted a takedown on Nunes — little did she know, she opened up a gigantic can of worms. After a short scramble on the canvas and Anderson doing the most to defend on the ground, Nunes found Anderson’s arm and followed through to win via armbar submission with 2 minutes and 3 seconds on the clock.  

Like I said earlier, are we even surprised? We knew this fight was going to end inside the distance, whether it was by T/KO or by submission. At one point leading up to UFC 259, Nunes had UFC odds at -1500! However, when she walked into the Octagon Saturday Night, Nunes had odds at -900, and Megan Anderson at +600. I believe it’s going to be a very long time until we see the Lioness drop from her throne. So, with that being said, who’s next?  

UFC Light Heavyweight: Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya — Main Event

The final title bout, and also the main event of the night, was a tad frustrating. Not frustrating in a sense of who won, but in a matter of respect towards who was clearly the superior fighter. Leading up to Saturday night, the public was all over Israel Adesanya — and can you blame them? The man has made himself a legend. However, when the fight was actually taking place, there were a lot of biased comments against the Champ, Jan Blachowicz.  

Jan was patient while fighting Adesanya, and — like how I just said — was clearly the more superior fighter. He completed 3 out of 5 takedown attempts compared to Adesanya’s shimmering 0 attempts. Jan connected with more significant and total strikes than Adesanya; he overall had control of the entire fight. Yet, when you listen to the commentators despite the fact that Jan was landing more strikes, they STILL favored Izzy!  

We all need to put more respect on the name Jan Blachowicz. He defended his title as UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and humbled Israel Adesanya. Coming into Saturday night, Jan Blachowicz had UFC odds at +190, and Israel Adesanya was the juiced favorite at -230. I managed to grab Jan Blachowicz at +200, so it was a very valuable and profitable night if you sided with the Polish Power! Jan mentioned in his post-fight interview that he would like to defend his title against Glover Teixeira next. You can bet your bottom dollar Jan will not be the dog in his next fight, especially having a win over the Last Stylebender himself.  

Closing Remarks and What’s Next?

UFC 259 was a remarkable event — the night started off with 3 consecutive T/KO’s, a submission, and another T/KO in the early prelims. We had a beautiful first round knockout by the legend in Kai Kara-France himself, and many, many more! If you were unable to tune in to UFC 259, then I highly recommend watching the highlights — just a little something to keep you entertained during your work breaks.

Up next — on Saturday, March 13th — we have a very interesting matchup in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Leon Edwards vs Belal Muhammad. Both Edwards and Muhammad hold a record of 18-3-0 and are known for their knockout power. Besides the main event, we will have a card FILLED with many must-see fights: Dan Ige vs. Gavin Tucker, Ben Rothwell vs. Philipe Lins, and more! Be sure to stay tuned to my Picks and Predictions show with David Manyun and Matt Ryan — you can find us on SBR’s YouTube page @SBRSportsPicks — where we share our best bets for each and every fight night.