Israel Adesanya dared to be great but ultimately came up short in his quest to become a two-division champion.
Adesanya was looking to become only the 5th UFC champion in history to hold two belts simultaneously but it was not meant to be.
The judges scored the fight 49-46, 49-45, 49-45 as the light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz stopped Adesanya’s unbeaten run.
— UFC News (@UFCNews) March 7, 2021
The middleweight champion from New Zealand weighed in at only 200.5 pounds for the fight against Poland’s Blachowicz, significantly under the 205-pound light-heavyweight limit.
The size difference was evident particularly when the fight hit the ground in the 4th and 5th rounds.
It was nail-biting stuff for Kiwi fight fans, Adesanya had a distinct speed advantage and was having Blachowicz react to his feints throughout the fight, but the Polish fighter was threatening with powerful punches of his own
It was not until the 4th round that Blachowicz started mixing in his wrestling, which ultimately helped him to win the fight with Blachowicz controlling over three minutes of the 4th round on the ground and then securing another takedown in the 5th to run away with the fight.
The loss is Adesanya’s first in his professional MMA career and brings his record to 20-1.
He remains unbeaten at middleweight where he is the current UFC champion and will likely return for his next fight.