UFC: Nigerian-born fighter Israel Adesanya loses to Jan Blachowicz

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Nigerian-born fighter Israel Adesanya lost his light heavyweight match to Polish MMA fighter Jan Blachowicz by a unanimous  49-46, 49-45, 49-45 decision at UFC 259.

Adesanya was defeated for the first time in a 5-round contest in the Light heavyweight division, but he reportedly maintains his middleweight titles.

The ‘Stylebender’ stepped into the octagon, aiming to become the fifth fighter in UFC history to become a two-weight champion simultaneously, against the bigger, older and more experienced Blachowicz.

With his defeat, Adesanya failed to join Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo as one of just five fighters in UFC history to hold titles in two divisions simultaneously.

Jan Blachowicz (L) punches Israel Adesanya during UFC 259 fight

“Losses are part of life. Losses are something I deal with occasionally,” Adesanya said in press conference after the match. “Just this is my first one in MMA. As I say, it is what it is. If I was going to lose to anyone, what better guy to lose to than a guy like Jan?”

“(He’s) a classy champion, a cool dude, a very nice guy, a guy who has a great story in himself. On his way to getting cut from the company, comes back and then dominates and becomes the light heavyweight champion and then hands this guy, a future legend, his first loss.”

“Yeah, if I was going to lose to anyone, I’m glad I lost to him,” he added.

From the moment he declared his venture up to 205 pounds, Adesanya accepted the risk. As he reflected on his quest to become a UFC double champion, Adesanya said he would do it again if given the opportunity.

“(I have) no regrets. Like I said, I don’t know. I feel like the boxing model has made it a bad thing to lose,” Adesanya added.

“Yeah, it sucks losing. Don’t get me wrong. But it’s not like the end of the world. Like I said, I’ve lost before in the past. Right now, me and my team, we’re just excited to get home and work on certain little details.”

Adesanya’s initial impression was that a few changes in his UFC 259 performance would’ve gone a long way.

“Honestly, I could’ve won this fight,” Adesanya said. “Tonight he played a better game plan, and he was the better fighter tonight. That’s it. He respected me, and I respected him, and we had a great showing of ourselves. I’m not heartbroken. I hate losing.”

“Don’t get me wrong. But I’m not like, ‘Oh my God, he really embarrassed me. Like, that was it.’ Nah, I felt like I had a great showing for myself. I represented my team very well. Now we go back to the drawing board. It’s kind of fun.”

“Like, I look forward to like, this is the dip in my story. (Do) you know what I mean? This is the valley, if you will. Then, I’ll rise again like the phoenix that I am,” Adesanya added.

 

Chidi Nwoke.

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