By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
UFC 259 was last night and featured three big title fights, one which ended in controversy. Let’s get to the rundown.
BAD- Aleksandar Rakic vs. Thiago Santos
This was such a blah fight that it almost feels like the definition should just be this fight on a loop. There were little bursts of action but too much standing around. Rakic won the decision, good win for him I guess. Moving on…
GOOD/BAD- Islam Makhachev submits Drew Dober
Not a lot of action in this one, just Makhachev mauling Dober on the ground. This wasn’t really my type of fight, though Makhachev looked strong as he dominated Dober before getting the submission via choke. Good win for Makhachev.
GOOD/BAD/UGLY- Aljamain Sterling beats Petr Yan by DQ
The fight started strong, both men looked good early as they battled everywhere. They exchanged plenty of strikes, denied takedowns but also landed some as well, and fought in the clinch. Yan started taking over in the third round, as his activity increased. Sterling wasn’t able to keep up and paid for it by absorbing some heavy shots. He dished out some nice damage of his own, though.
The fourth round was more of the same, as Yan pulled away as he peppered Sterling with his striking and throws. However, he caught Sterling flush with a knee to the face when Sterling was downed and the fight ended as a Disqualification victory for Sterling. That sucks. I think Yan was on his way to a decision victory but nothing’s for certain. It sucks when any fight ends in DQ, it sucks even more when it’s a title fight. Yan was looking to defend his UFC Bantamweight Championship but that’ll have to wait.
GOOD- Amanda Nunes submits Megan Anderson
Nunes successfully defended her UFC Featherweight Championship here, as she blasted Anderson with some powerful shots, then jumped on her and tapped her out just over two minutes into the first round. Big win for Nunes, as she continues to make history. Who’s next? Or maybe that should be, who’s left?
BAD- Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya
Adesanya, the UFC Middleweight Champion, came in well below the weight limit for light heavyweight. That might have worked against some guys but Blachowicz, the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, was too good for that. Or perhaps, too heavy. I didn’t like this fight. There was a lot of jabs and little kicks, leg kicks and some body shots. I suppose it was okay but certainly not worth paying for. This is the fundamental problem with the pay-per-view model, the vast majority of people won’t pay big money because there’s always the chance fights end up like, dull and lifeless. The early rounds were okay but as it got the championship rounds, things started dragging. Blachowicz would take the fight to the ground and it stayed there. He was too big and Adesanya was unable to get the energy to push him off. I’ll just say I didn’t like this fight and leave it at that, though I should add that this was a good win for Blachowicz. You do whatever you have to in order to win, even if it’s not very exciting.
After the loss, Adesanya said he’ll be back to light heavyweight eventually but that he’s going back down to middleweight and going to rule there. That’s the right move, if he’s going to move up he needs to do it seriously. I think in a few years he’ll have to move up and he’ll do so successfully.
I imagine this win will give Blachowicz confidence and he’ll look even better in his next fight. I don’t know who will be his opponent but I’d give him the edge over most guys in the division for sure.
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