UFC 259: Jan Blachowicz beats Israel Adesanya as Amanda Nunes wins again

Jan Blachowicz of Poland (left) punches Israel Adesanya of Nigeria in their UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event in Las Vegas
UFC middleweight Israel Adesanya was looking to become a two-weight champion with victory over light-heavyweight title-holder Jan Blachowicz

Both defending champions successfully retained their titles at UFC 259 as light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz and women’s featherweight champion Amanda Nunes picked up significant victories at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

In the main event, Poland’s Blachowicz produced a controlled, calculated performance to hand middleweight champion Israel Adesanya the first defeat of his MMA career.

Blachowicz and Adesanya traded shots through the first three rounds, with the faster, sharper Adesanya appearing to edge the action heading into the championship rounds.

But Blachowicz, 38, switched gears in rounds four and five and turned to his wrestling as he took the 31-year-old to the canvas midway through each of the final two rounds, and didn’t let the Nigerian-born Kiwi back to his feet as he dominated the action on the canvas.

After the bout went the distance, the three octagon-side judges each scored the fight for the Pole, with Blachowicz registering the first defence of his title with scores of 49-46, 49-45, 49-45.

In the night’s co-main event, two-division women’s champion Nunes retained her featherweight title with ease as she overwhelmed top contender Megan Anderson with strikes before submitting her with an armbar after just two minutes, three seconds.

Anderson, 31, looked tentative from the very start, and Nunes, 32, took advantage immediately as she stung the challenger with a big right hand. Nunes then reset and badly rocked the Australian with strikes before taking the action to the mat and locking up a triangle armbar to claim her 12th consecutive win and register her seventh UFC title defence – five at bantamweight, two at featherweight.

Such was Nunes’ dominance, the fight was described by former two-division champion Daniel Cormier as a “non event,” and also raised question marks over the future of the women’s featherweight division, which is the only weight class in the UFC that does not have an official rankings list.

More to follow.

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