Blachowicz, Nunes keep belts at UFC 259; Sterling wins on DQ

LAS VEGAS — Israel Adesanya realized that keeping two UFC name belts concurrently isn’t just about as simple as Amanda Nunes makes it glance.

And Petr Yan realized that even a short-term lapse in self-discipline can dearly value a champion.

Jan Blachowicz defended his UFC mild heavyweight name with a unanimous determination over the prior to now unbeaten Adesanya at UFC 259 on Saturday night time, thwarting the reigning middleweight champ’s bid to say a 2d belt.

Two-division champion Nunes defended her featherweight belt comfortably, beating Megan Anderson via submission 2:03 into the primary spherical on the Apex fitness center at the UFC’s company campus. Aljamain Sterling additionally received the UFC’s bantamweight name when Yan was once disqualified for an unlawful knee strike within the fourth spherical.

The 38-year-old Blachowicz (28-Eight) made his first name protection in spectacular taste via outworking Adesanya (20-1), the fearsome 185-pound champion transferring up for a shot at historical past. The Polish champion used his dimension benefit and veteran savvy, taking keep watch over in their struggle with two massive takedowns and next flooring keep watch over within the fourth and 5th rounds.

Blachowicz received 49-46 on two judges’ scorecards and 49-45 at the 3rd. The Related Press scored it 48-47 for Blachowicz.

Blachowicz ended the struggle in complete mount whilst dropping rain punches on Adesanya, who had by no means misplaced in a blended martial arts profession that started in 2012. The charismatic Nigerian-born New Zealander failed to enroll in Nunes, Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier and Henry Cejudo because the UFC’s most effective simultaneous two-belt champions.

Adesanya took his first setback in stride.

“Losses are a part of existence,” Adesanya stated. “That is simply my first one in MMA. If I used to be going to lose to somebody, what higher man to lose to than a man like Jan? Stylish champion, cool dude, great man. He has a perfect tale to inform. From virtually getting minimize from the UFC, he turns into a champion and arms this man, a long run legend, his first loss.”

Adesanya gave the look to be the sharper, extra competitive striker within the early rounds, however Blachowicz countered the onslaught along with his personal moves and ultimately applied his sport plan. Blachowicz became the struggle within the fourth spherical with an outstanding takedown and powerful flooring paintings, all however forcing the judges to present him the spherical.

He took down Adesanya once more halfway during the 5th sooner than finishing the struggle in a dominant place. Blachowicz joyously celebrated the most recent victory in a late-career surge for a fighter who received his name final September after six years within the UFC and 13 years as a professional.

Nunes (21-Four) treated her 2d featherweight name protection along with her standard aptitude, making brief paintings of her Australian challenger whilst extending her successful streak to 12 fights since 2014. After peppering Anderson (11-Five) with moves, Nunes jumped on her off-balance challenger and labored her approach right into a triangle armbar, forcing Anderson to faucet out briefly.

The struggle was once Nunes’ first since her spouse, fellow UFC fighter Nina Ansaroff, gave beginning to their first kid. Nunes has been the UFC’s bantamweight champion since 2016, and he or she added the featherweight strap in past due 2018.

“Since my daughter was once born, it’s the most productive factor that took place in my existence,” Nunes stated. “She’s made me a greater particular person, extra glad. The home is filled with love. She was once meant to be snoozing this night, however she waited and waited to look at my struggle, and now she’s snoozing. I’m satisfied that I shined for her.”

The much-anticipated slate of 3 championship fights at UFC 259 were given off to a strange get started when Yan’s inexplicable laws violation passed the 135-pound name to Sterling, the primary fighter to grow to be a UFC champion on a disqualification.

The struggle was once stopped with 31 seconds left within the fourth when Yan drove his knee into the face of Sterling, who was once kneeling at the canvas in entrance of him.

MMA laws strictly limit such blows to a downed opponent, and the knee obviously harm Sterling, who struggled and did not stand up for a number of mins. The bout was once known as off via referee Mark Smith, who had verbally warned Yan to not throw one of these strike a couple of seconds previous.

Sterling (20-Three), a Lengthy Island local, seemed disoriented and dissatisfied when the belt was once wrapped round his waist after a struggle he gave the look to be shedding to Yan (15-2). Sterling threw the belt onto the canvas sooner than he left the octagon.

“The whole thing I labored for up to now, and to have the struggle move like that …,” a teary-eyed Sterling stated in a while. “I assumed the struggle was once very shut. I assumed I used to be down two rounds. That’s no longer the best way I sought after to win. That’s no longer the best way I envisioned this. I simply took the belt off, guy. I used to be seeking to proceed, however I used to be in unhealthy form.”

Previous, former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz beat Casey Kenney via cut up determination for his first victory since June 2016. Cruz, who turns 36 on Tuesday, noticed his ascendant profession derailed way back via brutal harm issues, however he persisted towards a in a similar way exhausted Kenney to win in simply his 6th MMA bout since October 2011.

3-time flyweight name contender Joseph Benavidez additionally took his 3rd consecutive loss in a one-sided determination win for Russia’s Askar Askarov, who overlooked weight for the bout.

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Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/hub/sports activities and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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