Nigerian born, New Zealand-based Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, has intensified preparation in Auckland ahead of the biggest test of his career on March 6, when he moves up to the 205-pound division to face light heavyweight title holder, Jan Blachowicz. The fight will hold at Apex in Las Vegas, USA.
A member of Israel Adesanya camp told The Guardian yesterday that he was not leaving anything to chance in his bid to conquer in the new weight division.
“Israel Adesanya is preparing very well as usual in his home base Auckland,” he said in a message to The Guardian.
According to BSNSports.com.ng reports, Adesanya’s move to the 205-pound division to face light heavyweight titleholder, Jan Blachowicz, will be a rare spectacle of champion versus champion. Adesanya goes out against the reigning UFC’ world light heavyweight titleholder, who will put his belt on the line against the middleweight king.
‘The Last Style Bender,’ as Adesanya is known, looks for a second mixed martial arts (MMA) diadem.
At UFC 253 back in December, Adesanya successfully defended his middleweight title against top contender, Paulo Costa of Brazil and, earlier same night, Blachowicz registered one of 2020’s biggest upsets when he knocked out former title challenger, Dominick Reyes to claim the vacant light heavyweight belt.
The UFC 259 main card will be streamed live on ESPN+ pay-per-view within the last hours of March 6. While Blachowicz holds a record of 27-8 MMA, and 10-5 UFC, Israel Adesanya has 20-0 MMA and 9-0 UFC.
A member of his camp said the Nigerian was optimistic of winning the fight to become a two-division champion. Adesanya shot to limelight when he dismissed Robert Whittaker in title unification fight at UFC 243. He is undefeated in 20 professional fights, including nine in a row in The Octagon. He won the interim middleweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 in one of the best fights of 2019.
Adesanya then successfully defended his title during two appearances in 2020, as he first defeated Yoel Romero by unanimous decision and then finished off Paulo Costa in a masterful performance at UFC 253.
After losing four of five fights between April 2015 and April 2017, Blachowicz went 8-1 in his last nine appearances and has won four straight, during which the 37-year-old fighter also boasts stoppage wins over Corey Anderson and Luke Rockhold on the road to his first UFC title.