If UFC is banking on one celebrity to fill the void left by fighters like Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, or GSP then they’re positively banking on Israel Adesanya. The 31-year-old fighter from New Zealand has been on a tear since debuting in UFC in 2018. The hype practice was put behind Adesanya after his first two fights. Where others failed to justify the hype, Adesanya succeeded. In simply two years’ time, Adesanya has gone from a newcomer to a champion with two title defences.
Adesanya once more defended the title towards the unbeaten Paulo Costa at UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi. There was not good blood between the 2 undefeated fighters as they exchanged ‘pleasantries’ at each alternative they acquired. But when it appear to the Octagon, there was just one winner. Adesanya (20-0) walked the discuss and outclassed Costa (13-1) at UFC Fight Island.
There was no competition for the Kiwi as he chomped on Costa’s leg all through the primary round and the Brazilian didn’t have any reply for it. Costa tried to goad Adesanya into reckless abandonment however to no avail. Adesanya picked his spots to perfection and when the precise second appear, he knocked Costa to the mat with a right punch. Some field and pound and the referee waived off the battle in Adesanya’s favour. As ‘Izzy’ because it will get.
The win was the ninth straight within the UFC for Adesanya, the Nigeria-born, New Zealand-based phenomenon who has soared to prominence in combined martial arts over the previous three years.
In UFC 253′s co-main occasion, the 37-year-old Jan Błachowicz (27-8) capped his late-career surge by successful his first UFC title.
After controlling a lot of the motion in a sluggish first round, Błachowicz abruptly ended it when he landed a excessive left hook to the aspect of Reyes’ head. Reyes wobbled, stumbled and fell, and Błachowicz promptly completed him on the bottom with 24 seconds left within the round.
Unheralded flyweight Brandon Royval additionally had a highlight-reel win on Fight Island, stopping Kai Kara-France with a guillotine choke within the second round.
Adesanya received his title last yr by beating Robert Whittaker, however he was in want of a redemptive efficiency after defending his belt last March with a stupendously boring determination over Yoel Romero in Las Vegas.
The champion often known as “The Last Stylebender” reminded the UFC simply what he can do whereas dispatching Costa with ease
The closely muscled Costa opened the battle with a cocky swagger, daring Adesanya to kick his lead leg by placing his fingers behind his back. Adesanya preened back at Costa, however largely saved his distance and tagged Costa with kicks.
Costa’s placing game by no means acquired going, and Adesanya wore him down earlier than ending the battle.
While Adesanya was a favourite, Błachowicz’s victory was a shock. He is the primary fighter apart from Jones or Daniel Cormier to carry the UFC mild heavyweight title since 2011, when Jones started his rocky reign.
Błachowicz is a six-year UFC veteran from Poland who earned this title shot with three straight wins, together with stoppages of former champion Luke Rockhold and Corey Anderson.
(with AP inputs)