Israel Adesanya expertly picked aside Paulo Costa to preserve his middleweight title and prolong his superb skilled file to 20-0 at UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi.
The occasion marked a return to ‘UFC Warfare Island’ and Adesanya made a 2nd a success defence of his crown by finishing the beforehand undefeated Brazilian by a 2nd-spherical TKO.
Yas Island has been transformed into an isolation bubble for fighters, groups and media for a five-occasion run, and the first demonstrate of the promotion’s 2nd stint also saw a brand fresh champion topped in the co-principal occasion as Poland’s Jan Blachowicz received the vacant gentle heavyweight title.
Within the principal occasion, Adesanya, 31, centered vital of his attack on Costa’s lead leg in the first spherical, connecting with 15 leg kicks at some stage in the opening five minutes, whereas the Brazilian changed into once extra affected person than some expected.
Nonetheless, the fighters continuously exchanged comments as they attempted to goad every different into an early mistake.
Adesanya’s leg attack continued by spherical two because the Nigerian-born Fresh Zealander masterfully controlled the differ and picked off Costa, 29, almost at will, with the Brazilian struggling to land the the leisure of substance.
Then, as an increasingly annoyed Costa looked to shut the distance, Adesanya struck and dropped the hulking Brazilian with a counter correct, then done his man with floor strikes after three minutes, 59 seconds.
“Too easy,” exclaimed UFC commentators Jon Anik and Paul Felder as worn kickboxing celebrity Adesanya sealed his ninth straight UFC prefer to further cement his predicament because the field’s premier 185lb fighter.
whereas the man himself acknowledged he proved his naysayers immoral after he received criticism from some quarters following his lacklustre display veil in opposition to Cuba’s Yoel Romero in his outdated appearance at UFC 248 in March.
“You all must have forgot. I if truth be told must salvage you undergo in tips, we’re the correct,” acknowledged Adesanya, referring the criticism he received from some quarters following his lacklustre display veil in opposition to Cuba’s Yoel Romero in his outdated appearance in March.
He then acknowledged he would snatch to face Jared Cannonier in his subsequent title defence, if the American can defeat worn champion Robert Whittaker of their fight at UFC 254 on 24 October.
“Anderson Silva lived a mountainous legacy and I must construct service to the middleweight division,” he acknowledged. “Jared Cannonier, I esteem his vitality, he’s an attractive man. I acknowledged, ‘You execute Robert Whittaker, you are subsequent.'”
Blachowicz’s ‘legendary Polish vitality’ prevails
Within the evening’s co-principal occasion, Blachowicz captured the UFC gentle heavyweight title – vacated by long-reigning champion Jon Jones who has moved as a lot as heavyweight – with a punch-superb performance to develop Dominick Reyes in the 2nd spherical.
Blachowicz, 37, settled fleet and linked extra in most cases by the opening spherical, at the side of a pair of heavy kicks to the physique that left a noteworthy purple welt on the superb aspect of the American’s ribcage.
The controlled aggression continued as Blachowicz loaded up and began to put collectively extra combinations. The worn KSW gentle heavyweight champion broke Reyes’ nostril when he linked with a correct hand and poured on the rigidity to develop his man with 24 seconds last in the 2nd spherical.
Blachowicz’s TKO victory saw him toughen his profession file to 27 wins and eight losses. It extends his a success traipse to four, with three of those victories coming at some stage in the distance as a results of what he calls his “legendary Polish vitality”.
After his victory, Blachowicz acknowledged: “Jon Jones, the put are you? Develop no longer be a quitter. I’m expecting you.”
Nonetheless, with Jones’ time as a 205lb fighter now reputedly prior to now after his transfer as a lot as heavyweight, Blachowicz will face the problem of fending off the rising list of sunshine heavyweight contenders, at the side of rising European abilities Jiri Prochazka and Aleksandar Rakic, plus Brazilian worn Glover Teixeira and the closing man to defeat him, Brazil’s Thiago Santos.