Don’t let the title of the article confuse you; without question, I feel that the man known as Israel “Stylebender” Adesanya will likely take a loss in his next outing if somethings are immediately addressed. No, I don’t wish him any bad luck and I truly admire him for daring to be great but, that move to 205lbs may prove to be residually ineffective.
For starters, it shook the foundation as well as mental strength of guy many perceived as an unshakable man – a UFC champion at that. Ironically, it would have been easier to process this loss if he was KO’d in the second frame or something like that however, that lengthy 25 minute loss tarnished his luster. The worst part of the entire ordeal is that Blachowicz smoothly gave future “Stylebender” opponents a clear blueprint on how to beat him: chain wrestling and top control.
The way the Nigeria-born warrior was dominated at UFC 259 by reigning light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in the main event leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind on how to handle the dynamic striker’s usually effective arsenal. By pushing the pace and closing the distance Jan shut down those great Adesanya counters walking him down behind crisp punches and leg kicks to the midsection. The jazzy jab Jan jousted with that evening was perfectly placed, streaking across the sky towards Israel’s neck and chest. The thudding knees or leg kicks that the Polish powerhouse lead then countered with were also stellar as they crashed unto Adensanya’s lower body putting him in a box. And, the icing on the cake was that by making him react it left him just upright enough to get chest to chest, fish for a single, double or high crotch takedown then plant the previously unbeaten fighter on his back.
Wasn’t it strange to see how blatant deficient Adesanya is fighting out of his guard? You saw little to no submission attacks, sweeps, hip escapes or reversals. The man with the “Broken Native” tattoo on his chest was indeed broken as his best defense was a body lock to prevent damage on the mat.
Is there a twist to the story? Sure there is. Ask any Battle MMA fan if they agree with the above and they’ll likely give you a resounding, “yes”. Nevertheless, they’ll all deep down hope that Israel Adensanya reinvents himself like Francis Ngannou did after his first loss and becomes the best version possible due to that initial defeat. As Udai Yadla once said, “failure is the greatest teacher”, let’s just hope UFC 185lbs Adesanya was listening.