Israel Adesanya came up short in his quest to become a double champion after suffering a unanimous decision loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259, Aljamain Sterling became the bantamweight champion in the most bizarre circumstances, Amanda Nunes maintained her spot as the measuring stick in women's MMA by submitting Megan Anderson and much more — Fightful has all the UFC 259 fallout you could want in one article.
Israel Adesanya humble in defeat and plans his middleweight return
Israel Adesanya was unsuccessful in his quest to become a two-weight champion but was respectful and humble in defeat. Adesanya was defeated by Jan Blachowicz over 5 rounds and suffered his first loss in MMA. Despite that disappointment, "The Last Stylebender" is happy that if he was going to have to lose, he was glad it was to a champion like Blachowicz.
“Losses are part of life, and losses are something I deal with occasionally. Just this is my first one in MMA, but as they 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. A classy champion. A cool dude. A very nice guy. A guy who has a great story himself," Adesanya said to the media in the press conference following UFC 259 (h/t MMA Fighting). "On his way to getting cut from the company, comes back and then dominates, becomes light heavyweight champion and then hands this guy, a future legend, his first loss. If I’m going to lose to anyone, I’m glad I lost to him.”
Despite ending up on the losing end, Adesanya still had plenty of positives to take away from spending 25 minutes with the UFC light heavyweight champion and he has vowed to return to the 205lb division once he cleans out his own division at middleweight.
“No regrets. Like I said, I feel like boxing or the boxing model has made it a bad thing to lose. 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. One of my friends—rest in peace—[said] I’ve lost many times but I remain undefeated. You’ll see me back at 205 [pounds] later in the future. Right now, I’ve got a division I’ve got to dominate. I know what they’re thinking ‘oh, that’s it, you’ve just got to take him down and then you’ve got him.’ All right, cool, bet, but I’ll remind them again why I’m the king of 185.”
Jan Blachowicz hopes win puts respect on his name
Jan Blachowicz didn't read the script before his fight with Israel Adesanya. Despite being a veteran of the sport and the defending champion, Blachowicz was brushed off by many people as merely a fight for Adesanya to get through before he eventually fought with Jon Jones. But the Polish star is now hoping that this performance will give him the respect he deserves at this stage.
“I defended my belt. Now I prove that I’m a true champion and I think now I’m going to have respect from everybody. In the next fight, I will not be the underdog anymore. But I don’t care anyway.”
Blachowicz had a tactical strategy against Adesanya. He exchanged on the feet for the first three rounds, but in the fourth and fifth, his grappling came into play. Timely takedowns put Blachowicz ahead on the cards for the clear-cut win, and afterward he reflected on his work over 25 minutes.
“I tried to knock him out in the second round, but he is a great fighter, a good fighter,” Blachowicz told reporters post-fight at UFC 259 (h/t MMA Junkie). “I should’ve started wrestling a little bit earlier. But he did his distance very well, so I could not catch him. He kicked really hard. I should’ve put a little bit more pressure on him.”
Aljamain Sterling upset about UFC 259 DQ Loss
Aljamain Sterling got the outcome he wanted going into his fight with Petr Yan but when he envisaged Bruce Buffer calling out the way of victory, he most certainly wouldn't have thought DQ would be the call. Sterling was on the receiving end of an illegal knee by the Russian Yan which was deemed intentional by the referee. Sterling admitted that the way he won leaves a sour taste and taints the victory somewhat.
“Everything I worked for to this point and to f*cking have the fight go like that. I thought the fight was very close, but I was down two rounds. That’s not the way I wanted to win. That’s not the way I envisioned this," Sterling told UFC commentator Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview (h/t MMA Junkie). "I was trying to continue, even be all f*cked up like that, but I was in bad shape. It would’ve just been the ego taking over and just get further punishment. The ref told me I was down. I don’t know, man. I understand there’s some heat and some bad blood, but this is a rivalry.”
Sterling and Yan had a high-paced, back-and-forth battle until the illegal shot. Two judges had the fight scored 29-28, for Yan and one 29-28 Sterling. “The Funkmaster” knows the bout was close and hopes to have an immediate rematch in the near future.
“I wanted to continue. The fight was fast-paced. There was a lot of action, and I know the fans were enjoying that. I know this is going to be potentially one of the fights of the year and one of the greatest bantamweights fight in history for the title. I mean, the action was non-stop until that (explicit) knee.”
Petr Yan "didn't mean" illegal knee
Petr Yan was visibly distraught by the result of his loss to Aljamain Sterling. Yan became the first champion to lose a title in the UFC by DQ after the referee Mark Smith deemed his knee on "The Funkmaster" intentional.
“You saw everything. I don’t even know what to say,” Yan told reporters via an interpreter at the UFC Apexm(h/t MMA Junkie). “Before the fight, the referee was paying a lot of attention about the hand position when the fighter is grounded or not. I was too focused on his hands, and I forgot about his legs. Obviously I didn’t mean to do an illegal shot.”
Yan wasn’t aware he landed an illegal shot as soon as it happened.
“No, I didn’t realize that. For a while, I thought that I did everything right and didn’t think he was downed. It sucks, and I think him as a fighter he also don’t want to accept the belt this way. And if he’s going to be healthy, hopefully we have the rematch soon.”
Amanda Nunes unsure who's next after easy UFC 259 win
Amanda Nunes has retained her place as the level that all-female fighters need to aspire to match, never mind surpass. Nunes has cleaned out both featherweight and bantamweight divisions and no division has any clear and obvious challenger for the "Lioness" currently. Nunes was called out swiftly after her submission victory of Aussie Megan Anderson by Julianna Pena on Twitter. Nunes didn't seem overly enthralled by that fight and would rather Pena face off against Germaine De Randamie potentially before she gets a shot at Nunes.
“So Holly is off, she can fight Germaine. I feel like she has to get in the mix, but we’ll see. I’m going to go back down, I’m going to see my diet because now I’m pretty heavy, so yeah. I’m a champion. I’m never going to turn down fights. I’m going to be facing whoever Dana White wants me to face," Nunes told reporters at the UFC 259 news conference (h/t MMA Junkie).
Dana White himself seems like he could be interested in this fight, saying Pena has been blowing up his phone all night.
“Julianna Pena has been texting all of us all night,” White said (h/t MMA Junkie). “She’s been busy tonight. Yeah, we could do that.”
Despite her dominance and no newcomers gaining steam in either division, the Brazilian isn't looking to hang up her gloves soon after becoming a mother and in fact, uses her family as extra motivation.
“I feel like memories with my family and keep going with my legacy (is what motivates me). This is my job, and I love to do this. I love to go to the gym and train and get better and better. I feel like the older I get, I get much better. So I want to keep going and then see what’s going to happen for sure, whatever life is going to give to me. I don’t know, we never know, but I’m going to face whoever Dana White wants me to face.”
Islam Makhachev shares his “dream fight” following dominant victory at UFC 259
Islam Makhachev dominated Drew Dober at UFC 259 and eventually earned a submission victory by an arm-triangle choke. Makhachev is regarded by many at American Kickboxing Academy as a fighter who could be just as dangerous to lightweights in the UFC as Khabib Nurmagomedov. And the Dagestani took his time after the fight to call out a name that is closely associated with Nurmagoemdov in one Tony Ferguson.
Islam Makhachev: "My dream fight is Tony Ferguson. That’s my dream fight. I just want to make him retire. He talks too much. Khabib is retired, now he keeps pressuring him, for what? I’m here, I have a 7-fight win streak, make this happen." #UFC259— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) March 7, 2021
Dana White: Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya scoring at UFC 259 was "insane"
Dana White has never been one to hold back an opinion and after UFC 259 was no different. White didn't believe that the Jan Blachowicz and Israel Adesanya main event had a 10-8 round in it but two judges scored the fifth round as a 10-8, giving Blachowicz a much wider margin of victory than White believes was warranted.
“The scoring was insane. These guys are giving out 10-8 rounds like f*cking... there were two rounds in that fight that they gave a 10-8. When I came up in the fight business, a 10-8 was an ass-whupping. You got your ass whupped. You didn’t do sh*t in that round and got beat down if it was a 10-8," White said at the post-event press conference on Saturday in Las Vegas (h/t MMA Fighting). “This 10-8 sh*t’s is out of control right now. So hopefully, we can get this fixed. They’re going to screw up a lot of fights, they’re handing out 10-8s like that. There was no 10-8 in that fight.”
Asked whether the UFC would take action by refusing to allow certain judges, White stopped short of making any threats.
“I don’t think that’s necessary. I just think that for some reason, all of a sudden these guys are scoring 10-8s for rounds that are clearly not 10-8s. I mean, how do you address this? It’s the criteria they’re giving them right now. I think they’re getting some bad advice.”
Dana White thinks Israel Adesanya 'should focus on middleweight
Dana White is hoping that Israel Adesanya focuses on the middleweight division after his loss to Jan Blachowicz. White believes that there is no shame in trying to become a two-weight champion and that now the Nigerian has seen the size difference in the heavier clash, he will put his head down and focus on the up-and-coming middleweights.
“Listen, he’s the middleweight champion. He doesn’t get the light heavyweight title, he doesn’t get Jon Jones,” Adesanya told reporters at the post-fight news conference (h/t MMA Junkie). “But you know what, you never hurt somebody for trying to be big and trying to become great. He gave it a shot tonight, and it didn’t happen. And Jan is the man. He is the 205-pound champ, and now he starts taking on all comers in the division. Size is always a factor when you move up a weight class in this sport. The double champ thing, it’s like the thing to do right now, but it isn’t easy to do. The people who have done it are absolutely, positively special.”
Following the end of Adesanya’s run, White said he wants to see him go back to the weight class where he rules as champion and fight more equally sized competition. White would also like to see the end of the speculation linking Jon Jones and Adesanya to a super-fight.
“Jon Jones used to be at that weight class. Jon’s going to be so much bigger than Israel. I think Israel should focus on middleweight right now. Get back in there and keep doing what he does in the middleweight division.”
UFC 259 Promotional Guidelines Compliance pay: Second highest payout in program history
Fighters on UFC 259 took home UFC Promotional Guidelines Compliance pay totaling $385,000, the second-highest number in program history behind UFC 205 in November 2016.
The program, a comprehensive plan that includes outfitting requirements, media obligations, and other items under the fighter code of conduct, replaces the previous payments made under the UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy.
The full UFC 259 UFC Promotional Guidelines Compliance payouts included:
Jan Blachowicz: $40,000
def. Israel Adesanya: $40,000
Amanda Nunes: $40,000
def. Megan Anderson: $30,000
Aljamain Sterling: $30,000
def. Petr Yan: $40,000
Islam Makhachev: $5,000
def. Drew Dober: $15,000
Aleksandar Rakic: $5,000
def. Thiago Santos: $20,000
Dominick Cruz: $15,000
def. Casey Kenney: $5,000
Kyler Phillips: $3,500
def. Song Yadong: $5,000
Askar Askarov: $4,000
def. Joseph Benavidez: $20,000
Kai Kara-France: $5,000
def. Rogerio Bontorin: $4,000
Tim Elliott: $10,000
def. Jordan Espinosa: $5,000
Kennedy Nzechukwu: $3,500
def. Carlos Ulberg: $3,500
Sean Brady: $4,000
def. Jake Matthews: $10,000
Amanda Lemos: $4,000
def. Livinha Souza: $4,000
Uros Medic: $3,500
def. Aalon Cruz: $3,500
Trevin Jones: $3,500
def. Mario Bautista: $4,000