4 Mar 2021

Adesanya chases UFC milestone in Las Vegas

4:01 pm on 4 March 2021

Three title fights featuring four champions who hold five belts top the card at this weekend's UFC 259 in Las Vegas.

The main event is a champion vs. champion superfight, as undefeated middleweight New Zealand's Israel Adesanya (20-0) goes up in weight and challenges newly crowned light heavyweight titleholder Jan Blachowicz (27-8) of Poland.

While Blachowicz must cut a good amount of weight to reach the 205-pound limit, Adesanya, who is hardly the biggest middleweight and relies on cat-like reflexes and a next-generation striking game said he did not go out of his way to add significant weight for the bout.

UFC fighter Israel Adesanya of New Zealand.

Israel Adesanya. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"Same flex, baby," Adesanya told ESPN.

"Same thing. It's just silly to me when people go and decide to add more muscles to their frame that they're not used to over the years working this game."

It's unusual for a fighter who hasn't yet cleaned out his division to challenge for a second belt, but Adesanya lobbied for and received the fight against Blachowicz, who is making his first title defence.

A win would make Adesanya the fifth fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold two weight-class belts, joining Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo.

In the co-feature bout, Brazil's Nunes (20-4), the women's featherweight and bantamweight titleholder, puts the former belt on the line against Australia's Megan Anderson (11-4).