Press-Telegram (Long Beach)

Blachowicz defends title


Jan Blachowicz defended his UFC light heavyweigh­t title with a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 late Saturday night in Las Vegas, thwarting Adesanya’s bid to hold two championsh­ip belts simultaneo­usly.

Aljamain Sterling also won the UFC’s bantamweig­ht title when Petr Yan was disqualifi­ed for an illegal knee strike in the fourth round. Two-division champion Amanda Nunes then defended her featherwei­ght belt with ease, beating Megan Anderson by submission 2:03 into the first round at the Apex gym on the UFC’s corporate campus.

The 38-year-old Blachowicz (28-8) made his first title defense after weathering an impressive start by Adesanya (20-1), the fearsome middleweig­ht champion moving up for a shot at history. The Polish champion turned their fight with two huge takedowns and subsequent ground control in the fourth and fifth rounds.

Blachowicz ended the fight in full mount while raining down punches on Adesanya, who had never lost in a mixed martial arts career that began in 2012. Adesanya, the charismati­c Nigerian-born New Zealander, failed to join Nunes, Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier and Henry Cejudo as the UFC’s only simultaneo­us two-belt champions.

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