The final fight on the stacked UFC 259 main card this weekend is the highly anticipated UFC light heavyweight title bout that we’ve all been waiting for since it got announced.
Current UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz (27-8-0) faces UFC middleweight champion Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya (20-0-0) in what is sure to be a fight for the ages.
Power vs Speed
Whilst both of these UFC fighters have credentials in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), they are both known for their incredible striking ability.
Blachowicz, who is on a 4-fight win streak, has incredible Muay Thai boxing ability, possessing lethal kicks (ask Dominick Reyes) as well as ‘Polish Power’ – as Blachowicz likes to call it – in his fists.
Not only can Blachowicz knock you out with impressive combination punches from a distance or within the clinch, but his black belt in BJJ allows him to control his man on the ground, should the fight go there, and even submit his opponent – as he did against Nikita Krylov in 2018.
Meanwhile, aspiring two-division champion Adesanya is one of the UFC’s best, if not THE best, striker that the organisation has to offer. With an incredible kickboxing record of 75-5, Adesanya is undefeated since starting his pro MMA career and is 9-0 in the UFC.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that Adesanya’s greatest weapon is his striking. Opponents are so aware of his masterful kickboxing, that Adesanya can use hip faints to bait his opponents into thinking he’s going to kick, before landing a clean 1-2 to their face with his fists. Furthermore, his speed offensively and defensively has caused problems to all of his opponents, especially evident in his fights with Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori.
Blachowicz silenced the doubters
In his last fight, Blachowicz went into the bout as the underdog against Dominick Reyes when they fought for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title in September 2020.
However, Blachowicz had no problem dealing with Reyes, a guy who almost (some would say he arguably did) beat Jon Jones, as the Polish international knocked down Reyes with a hard 1-2 to the head in the second round that had Reyes on skates, before finishing with a ground and pound.
Notably, Blachowicz wore Reyes down with an inside body kick throughout the fight that left a nasty looking mark on Reyes’ body.
Adesanya has already shown speed can top power
Adesanya’s last fight before deciding to move up and challenge for the UFC light heavyweight title was when he defended his UFC middleweight belt against Paulo Costa – who was undefeated at the time.
With both fighters talking a lot of trash to each other leading up to the fight, it was Adesanya who had the last laugh, landing 55 total strikes (65%) compared to Costa’s 12, as he finished Costa in the second round after dropping him with a right hand, before finishing with a ground and pound.
Prediction – such a hard fight to call
Out of all the UFC fights I’ve predicted, this is definitely one of the hardest to predict.
Although, on paper, you would assume Adesanya has the advantage simply due to him being undefeated, moving up a weight class is a different ball-game.
Despite Adesanya facing heavy hitters in the middleweight division such as Whittaker and Costa, that extra 20lbs that Blachowicz possesses will be a new experience for Adesanya. Furthermore, it will be interesting to see if Adesanya is still as quick after adding that extra 20lbs.
If he is still his usual lightning self, then that could cause some real problems for Blachowicz, who has never faced a fighter as quick as The Last Stylebender.
On the other hand, although Adesanya is a purple belt in BJJ, if Blachowicz decides to take this fight to the ground, that Polish Power combined with the skills of a black belt BJJ artist could cause problems for Adesanya!
Regardless of who wins, I think it’s going to be an extremely close fight that will surely live up to expectations.