Thursday, March 4, 2021

Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya Set for UFC 259 in March

There is now a hard date for the long-rumored champion vs. champion fight between UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz.

According to an ESPN report that cites Dana White, Israel Adesanya will go up to 205 to challenge Jan Blachowicz on March 6. This brings to a close any speculation on who will be Blachowicz’s first title defense at 205 after Glover Teixeira made a late push to earn the title shot after defeating Thiago Santos in November to make it three consecutive wins. Instead, Blachowicz’s defense will come against Israel Adesanya, who will be making his light heavyweight debut when challenging for the title.

Both Jan Blachowicz and Israel Adesanya had a flawless 2020, with both men going 2-0 this year. In Blachowicz’s case, he started off the year by winning Performance of the Night with a KO of Corey Anderson to avenge a loss from five years prior and then followed this up with a TKO of Dominick Reyes at UFC 253 to take home the vacant title. Jan Blachowicz’s first choice for his next opponent was Jon Jones, but with Jones moving up to heavyweight, that left the door open for someone else to challenge Blachowicz, and that someone will come from outside the light heavyweight rankings: reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

Israel Adesnya’s 2020 began with a unanimous decision victory over Yoel Romero at UFC 248 in what was his first successful title defense at 185. Next, Adesanya dominated the then-undefeated Paulo Costa at UFC 253 with a second-round KO victory. Adesanya has now defeated the top two contenders at middleweight, with #3 and #4 coming off losses. This leaves Adesanya with an empty schedule and an eye full of ambition as he looks to capture new gold at 205 in March against Jan Blachowicz.

There is no official word yet on if this fight will be the main event. There has been rumors of the UFC also targeting a March date for Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou II. But with this addition, here is the current card for UFC 259 on March 6:

Light Heavyweight Championship Bout: Jan Blachowicz © vs. Israel Adesanya

Featherweight Championship Bout: Amanda Nunes © vs. Megan Anderson

Thiago Santos vs. Aleksandar Rakic  

Joseph Benavidez vs. Askar Askarov

Dominick Cruz vs. Casey Kenney

Sean Brady vs. Jake Matthews

Tim Elliott vs. Jordan Espinosa

Randy Costa vs. Trevin Jones

Aalon Cruz vs. Uros Medic

Who walks out of UFC 259 as the UFC light heavyweight champion: Jan Blachowicz or Israel Adesanya?