UFC 259: Blachowicz vs. Adesanya Full Fight Results
March 6, 2021
UFC 259, a much hyped 15-fight card, was very interesting. Jan Blachowicz showed a well-rounded game to hand Israel Adesanya his first MMA defeat in the light heavyweight title; Amanda Nunes easily defender her featherweight title; and Aljamain Sterling was crowned the new bantamweight champion by disqualification.
There were odd moments; there were great finishes. It may not have lived up to the massive expectations of UFC 259, but alas, there were phenomenal fights and oddities we rarely see in the sport.
Craig finished 9-6 in his prediction and Matt finished 7-8. That closes the gap in 2021 to three picks. Follow next week, as Fight Night Picks continues to post predictions and breakdowns, previews, betting guides, and feature stories, including a recent one on bantamweight Gustavo Lopez.
Trevin Jones (+193) def. Mario Bautista by TKO (R2, 0:40)
Props: by knockout (+729); under 1.5 (+233)
Matt’s pick: Bautista; Craig’s pick: Bautista
One punch is all Trevin Jones needs. The 30-year-old earned a second straight knockout victory as an underdog, and hopefully this one stays on his record. His win over Timur Valiev was switched to a no-contest after getting popped for marijuana. This time, Jones, a moderate underdog landed a counter right hand on Mario Bautista just 40 seconds into the second round for his first official UFC win.
Uros Medic (-192) def. Aalon Cruz by TKO (R1, 1:40)
Props: by knockout (+120); under 1.5 (+113)
Matt’s pick: Medic; Craig’s pick: Medic
Welcome to the UFC, Uros Medic! The 27-year-old newcomer put on a dominating performance against Aalon Cruz. Starting with a right hook and ending with an uncomfortable amount of punches, the referee finally stepped in. It was one of the worst stoppages ever, but the Alask FC product is a UFC victor.
Amanda Lemos (-232) def. Livinha Souza by TKO (R1, 3:39)
Props: by knockout (+421); under 1.5 (+340)
Matt’s pick: Lemos; Craig’s pick: Lemos
What an impressive performance from Amanda Lemos. She improved to 3-1 in the UFC with a very convincing first-round knockout of Livinha Souza. Lemos had a couple knockdowns and some brutal ground and pound before a much more reasonable Jason Herzog got Souza out of there.
Sean Brady (-223) def. Jake Matthews by submission (R3, 3:28)
Props: by submission (+394); over 2.5 (-220)
Matt’s pick: Brady; Craig’s pick: Brady
14-0! The Pennsylvania product used most of his 15 minutes in the cage before eventually submitting Jake Matthews via arm triangle choke. Brady dominated on the ground and Matthews had no answers on the canvas. Brady now has four wins over the UFC as his star continues to rise.
Kennedy Nzechukwu (+191) def. Carlos Ulberg by TKO (R2, 3:19)
Props: by knockout (+396); under 2.5 (-152)
Matt’s pick: Ulberg; Craig’s pick: Ulberg
Carlos Ulberg was winning this fight for the first eight minutes. Then Kennedy Nzechukwu had a short right hook that knocked the UFC newcomer straight into the cage, where he slumped over to the canvas. It was a brutal knockout from the Nigerian striker, who moves to 2-1 in the UFC.
Tim Elliott (-147) def. Jordan Espinosa by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)
Props: by decision (+226); over 2.5 (-194)
Matt’s pick: Ulberg; Craig’s pick: Ulberg
Tim Elliott does as Tim Elliott does. The fight was a traditional Elliott fight, as he wrestled Jordan Espinosa consistently to the ground and controlled him. Despite a cut that leaked blood all over Espinosa in the third round, it was a dominating and convincing victory for the 34-year-old. He also was caught on camera calling Espinosa a “woman-beater” during the fight before ESPN cut the feed, so he earned some style points too.
Kai Kara-France (-137) def. Rogerio Bontorin by knockout (R1, 4:55)
WOW! After nearly getting submitted for about 4 minutes of the first round, Kai Kara-France stunned Rogerio Bontorin with a right hand and immediately walked off. Herb Dean then called a quiet end to the fight leading to some confusion about whether the fight was still going on. Bontorin, who had Kara-France’s neck for more than three minutes, then threw his mouthguard across the cage and we were all left mouths agape at what just happened.
Askar Askarov (-150) def. Joseph Benavidez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
Props: by decision (+155); over 2.5 (-224)
Matt’s pick: Benavidez; Craig’s pick: Askarov
Askar Askarov is a problem in the flyweight division. The 28-year-old remained undefeated with a thoroughly dominating performance over former title contender Joseph Benavidez. Askarov was first to every exchange and was never in any trouble in the convincing decision victory. He improves to 14-0-1 overall and probably moves into the title picture.
Kyler Phillips (+163) def. Song Yadong by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Props: by decision (+265); over 2.5 (-166)
Matt’s pick: Song; Craig’s pick: Song
This was Kyler Phillips’ coming-out party. After a pair of wins over OK competition to start his UFC career, Phillips put on a show in a decision win over Song Yadong. He landed the heavy shots on the counter while Song marched forward. He clearly won the first two rounds before Song rallied in the third. It was too little, too late for the Chinese fighter, who loses the first fight of his UFC career.
For the first time in five years, former Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is in the win column. He picked his moments and narrowly topped up-and-comer Casey Kenney. Cruz was opportune with his takedowns and wisely worked his way through rounds to the decision win. Almost the entire pool of media members had Cruz winning by decision, according to mmadecisions.com.
Aleksandar Rakic (-189) def. Thiago Santos by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Props: by decision (+221); over 2.5 (+110)
Matt’s pick: Rakic; Craig’s pick: Rakic
Well, that was a frustrating start to the pay-per-view main card. Both fighters were content sitting on the outside, waiting for their shots. Rakic did attempt some takedowns and worked the clinch at times, but there wasn’t anything in this fight. The judges had to put in scores, though, and they sided slightly with Rakic. But this one was forgettable.
Islam Makhachev (-443) def. Drew Dober by submission (R3, 1:37)
Props: by submission (+247); under 2.5 (+115)
Matt’s pick: Makhachev; Craig’s pick: Makhachev
Complete domination! Islam Makhachev scored a takedown in each round and just had his way on the canvas. He nearly had an armbar in round 1 after a slick transition. Eventually, Drew Dober decided he had enough and tapped to an arm triangle in the third round. Makhachev is now 8-1 in the UFC and figures to draw a ranked opponent next.
Aljamain Sterling (+113) def. Petr Yan by disqualification (R4, 4:29)
Props: over 2.5 (-213)
Matt’s pick: Yan; Craig’s pick: Yan
Petr Yan was well on his way to a victory, starting to take control of the fight as Aljamain Sterling fatigued, but then Yan decided to land a massive knee while Sterling had a knee on the ground. Referee Mark Smith said he had warned Yan that Sterling was down, and then when Yan landed the blow, immediately stopped the fight. After a doctor came in, it was clear Sterling could not continue and Yan was disqualified due to illegal knee. Sterling is the new bantamweight champion in the worst possible way to win a belt.
Women’s Featherweight Championship
Amanda Nunes (-849) def. Megan Anderson by submission (R1, 2:03)
Props: by submission (+170); under 1.5 (+117)
Matt’s pick: Nunes; Craig’s pick: Nunes
This went exactly as expected. Amanda Nunes landed some massive punches on the feet before taking the fight to the ground and choosing from whatever submission she wanted. She transitioned from a triangle to an armbar and got the tap quickly. That’s the GOAT, y’all.
Light Heavyweight Championship
Jan Blachowicz (+208) def. Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45)
Props: by decision (+881); over 4.5 (+131)
Matt’s pick: Adesanya; Craig’s pick: Adesanya
The ZERO is gone! Jan Blachowicz rallied late and scored a couble takedowns against the Last Stylebender while holding his own on the feet. It’s the first defeat of Adesanya’s career after Blachowicz really showed his power and how much he’s improved in all facets of the game. Incredible! In the end, the scorecards weren’t even close.