Despite being the underdog in his first title defense at UFC 259, Jan Blachowicz successfully thwarted Israel Adesanya’s attempt at becoming at two-division champion while ultimately winning a comfortable decision on the judges’ scorecards.
Over the course of five rounds, Blachowicz avoided Adesanya’s best striking attempts and then he sealed the win by taking the UFC middleweight king down to the ground where he dominated the fight during the final 10 minutes. The end result was a unanimous decision for Blachowicz and regardless of the odds, he felt the fight played out almost exactly as he predicted.
“I feel great with the fight,” Blachowicz told MMA Fighting. “Of course, I could do a little bit more, much more but I feel great. I feel strong. Cardio is good. But anyway, I should do a little bit more but Israel is a great fighter. I just fight how he goes to fight. That’s it.
“He was completely what we expect. He does everything that we thought he was going to do. Two things was different. I thought that he would be a little bit faster than he was but also he was a little bit stronger than I think he will be. Those were the things that I expected. But the rest of the things was exactly what we expected he was going to be.”
Becoming champion this past September with a second-round knockout against Dominick Reyes was the achievement of a life long dream for Blachowicz, who had been counted out early in his UFC career after falling to 2-4 in his first six fights with the promotion.
As amazing as it felt to finally claim the 205-pound title, Blachowicz can’t deny defending the belt was even sweeter, especially under the circumstances facing him at UFC 259 where he was involved in a rare champion versus champion showdown.
“I feel even much better than when I beat Dominick Reyes,” Blachowicz explained. “Because now I proved that I’m a real champion. I deserve this belt. I not only get this belt but I defended this belt. It tastes a little bit better. I’m just proud. It tastes a little bit better than when I won against Dominick Reyes.
“It’s great. I’ve got a lot of respect for him but it’s also nice that I took his ‘O.’ Now he’s 20-1 and I am this person who beat him. I beat the champion. Unbelievable things. I’m just happy. Like you said, I’m happy because I defend the belt, won against someone like Israel and I proved I deserved this belt.”
After the fight ended, Blachowicz approached UFC president Dana White for an exchange that was later revealed during the post-fight press conference. According to Blachowicz, he just walked up to White to ask him “you don’t believe in me?” but he says the UFC boss quickly answered back that he was absolutely a believer.
Blachowicz then said something to former UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who was working the broadcast as a color commentator after they had previously engaged in some banter online after he initially claimed the title.
“Daniel, I just came to him, I don’t remember exactly what I said to him but just do you think now I am the true champion now?” Blachowicz said. “I deserve respect, something like this. Just a couple words and that’s it.”
While Blachowicz still hasn’t gone back to watch the entire fight from start to finish, he has been told numerous times that the commentary at UFC 259 was more favorable to Adesanya but obviously that’s not exactly how the fight played out.
“I just rewatched. I don’t agree at all,” Cormier said on Twitter when a fan asked him about the commentary provided at UFC 259. “I was actually speaking to Jan and the times he was successful. I had fight 2-2 going into [round 5] and after watching it again I feel same way. Nothing changed. And [by the way] Jan did bite on a ton of fakes and feints. Izzy didn’t capitalize.”
I just rewatched. I don’t agree at all. I was actually speaking to Jan and the times he was successful. I had fight 2-2 going into 5 and after watching it again I feel same way. Nothing changed. And btw Jan did bite on a ton of fakes and feints. Izzy didn’t capitalize https://t.co/WTvZ8G0Y4o— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) March 11, 2021
Because he still needs to go back to watch the entire fight from start to finish, Blachowicz can’t say for certain how he’ll feel after hearing the commentary but he’s been told enough to know that perhaps the call wasn’t as fair as it should have been.
“They don’t see me in this fight, they just see Israel,” Blachowicz said. “But I don’t know, I don’t care. Maybe they are friends and that’s why. What can I do? Nothing. But anyway, that was not a problem. It is true, I haven’t watched the fight yet.”
Regardless of the commentary or his post-fight interaction with the former champion, Blachowicz says he holds no ill will towards Cormier or anybody else because nobody is going to bring him down from the excitement he’s felt ever since having his hand raised that night.
“I don’t care. He do what he do, he has to live with that, not me,” Blachowicz said when addressing Cormier. “I am just happy. I defend my belt. I am and still the champion. So everything good can happen right now. Nothing can change my happiness inside me. I don’t care.”
When it comes to Adesanya’s future, Blachowicz obviously wishes him well and he knows there has already been hints that the middleweight champion will eventually return to 205 pounds with hopes of earning a rematch.
For his part, Blachowicz is certainly open to that idea but he believes this time around Adesanya should have to prove himself against another top-ranked light heavyweight before challenging for the title a second time.
“I think if he would come back to our division or stay in this division, of course the rematch may be in the future but first of all he needs to win against someone from top 10 and then maybe the rematch,” Blachowicz said. “Of course, he’s got everything to be in this division.”