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Sport UFC 259 post-fight analysis, breakdown, highlights and results

10:11  07 march  2021
10:11  07 march  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

UFC 259 - Blachowicz vs Adesanya: When is it, time, how to watch in Australia, live updates, results, prelim fights

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UFC 259 is in the books, with Jan Blachowicz and Amanda Nunes defending their titles and Petr Yan losing his belt via fourth round brain fade against Aljamain Sterling.

It was an absolutely stacked card from top to bottom with 15 bouts including five fighters from Australia and New Zealand on display.

It wasn't the best day for the ANZACs though, with Jake Matthews, Carlos Ulberg, Megan Anderson and Israel Adesanya all coming away with defeats.

The bright light for the fighters from Down Under was Kai Kara-France, who scored a brilliant first round knockout win.

"DARE TO BE GREAT" - NO EXCUSES FROM ISRAEL ADESANYA

You learn a lot about a fighter by the way they take their losses.

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I've been hugely impressed by Conor McGregor after some of his defeats (Diaz 1 and Poirier 2. Not so much after the Khabib loss...). Same goes for Stipe Miocic, while Max Holloway and Robert Whittaker are both gracious in defeat.

I'm adding Israel Adesanya to that list after he suffered the first defeat of his MMA career to Jan Blachowicz for the 205-pound title.

The middleweight champ didn't add a whole lot of extra weight and didn't make any excuses.

"I knew what to do and I was trying to do it," he said.  "The size did play a factor, but my technique would have been a lot finer. He made me look like I had a butter-guard.

"It's like a bad day in the gym, but it's in the office tonight."

The Stylebender says he still has plans to fight at 205, but for now will go back to middleweight and defend his turf.

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GOAT BEHAVIOUR FROM AMANDA NUNES

Amanda Nunes isn't just the WMMA Goat. She's one of the best mixed martial artists period - regardless of gender.

The Lioness has cleaned out 135 and 145 at the same time.

This weekend, Australia's Megan Anderson was no obstacle. "A complete non-event," Joe Rogan said in commentary after Nunes' two minute demolition of Anderson.

Nunes is so good there's no one left for her to fight. Seriously, since dismantling Miesha Tate to take the 135-pound belt, no one has even come close to troubling Nunes.

Her victims include some of the biggest names in the history of women's MMA including Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm.

And honestly, there's no one else really knocking the door down to take either of her crowns.

PETR YAN'S ALL-TIME BRAIN FADE

That was the biggest brain fade I've seen in a while.

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Petr Yan threw away his 135-pound title when he sent a vicious knee to Aljamain Sterling's face despite the challenger being grounded at the time.

It was the textbook definition of an illegal strike, and Sterling was crowned the new bantamweight champion. A true warrior though, Aljo took the belt off and left it in the cage - that's not how he wanted to win.

It turns out Yan asked his corner for advice and was told he was allowed to kick Sterling.

Wouldn't want to be the guy who gave that instruction...

Yan later apologised for the shot.

"THAT WAS FOR NEW ZEALAND" - KAI KARA-FRANCE GETS IT DONE

Kai Kara-France was seriously close to being submitted midway through the first round of his flyweight bout with Rogerio Bontorin, but somehow managed to score a stunning knockout win instead.

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It's the first finish victory of his UFC career to date. He dedicated the win to his young son and to New Zealand.

With his home country going in and out of COVID-19 lockdowns, the win will be a huge boost to his fans back home.

Read more about his fight here.

DANIEL CORMIER PINPOINTS WHERE CARLOS ULBERG WENT WRONG

Daniel Cormier summed up what went wrong for Carlos Ulberg in his UFC debut.

The City Kickboxing star started well, rocking Kennedy Nzechukwu in early in the first, but gradually tired and was knocked out in the second.

Cormier pointed out Ulberg's low hands and high chin in breaking down the action.

"Look at Kennedy's chin: tucked. Look at Carlos' chin: it's up. That's not the way you want to be going into a fight," the former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion said.

"Ulberg's head never moved all fight. He finally decides to move his head and when he does, he ultimately moved his head into the right hand that shut the lights out.

"He's finally moving his head, but his hands are still incredibly low. All night, he took the punches on the chin.

"That's crazy. All night he did everything the wrong way in terms of not moving his head. You can't have your chin up and your hands down, especially when the guy in front of you tucking his chin and with his hands up."

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Read more about Ulberg's fight here

JAKE MATTHEWS' TOPSY-TURVY UFC CAREER CONTINUES

Jake Matthews has been in the UFC forever. He debuted at the age of 19, is 26 now and has 15 fights and 10 wins to his name.

The Melbournian was looking for his fourth consecutive win, which would be the most consecutive victories he's ever put together, but ran into a seriously dangerous Sean Brady.

Matthews was submitted in the third round.

It's the second time Matthews has had a three-fight win-streak snapped just when it looked like he was about to crack into the top of the welterweight division.

It will be interesting to see what Matthews does from here.

Read more about Matthews' fight here

TOUGH LOOK FOR THIAGO...

A year and a half ago, Thiago Santos came agonisingly close to beating Jon Jones for the 205 pound title. And he did it on one leg.

Since then, the Brazilian has lost three fights on the bounce, including this weekend's lacklustre decision defeat to Aleksandar Rakic.

In a fight that should have produced fireworks to kick off the PPV portion of the card, Santos and Rakic seemed too concerned with the power of the other man and a largely boring 15 minutes passed us by.

"Disappointingly uneventful" is how Joe Rogan described it.

It leaves Santos in a tough spot. With three losses to Rakic, Glover Teixeira and Jones since July 2019, has his championship window closed already?

ISLAM MAKHACHEV STEPS UP

With Khabib Nurmagomedov retired (despite Dana White's best attempts) and Khamzat Chimaev's future uncertain, the stage was set for Islam Makhachev to step up.

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The 29-year-old is a six-year, eight fight UFC veteran, but his main card bout with the dangerous Drew Dober was the biggest test of his career to date.

He didn't disappoint.

With Khabib in his corner, Makhachev came agonisingly close to landing a submission win in the first round, but went right back to work in the second.

The third was more of the same before Dober tapped out due to an arm triangle.

Ranked 13th at lightweight going into the bout, Makhachev will be moving up next week.

UFC 259 RESULTS -

Main Card -

Jan Blachowicz def Israel Adesanya via UD

Amanda Nunes def Megan Anderson via Rd 1 sub

Aljamain Sterling def Petr Yan via DQ

Islam Makhachev def Drew Dober via Rd 3 sub (arm triangle)

Aleksandar Rakic def Thiago Santos via UD

Prelims -

Dominick Cruz def Casey Kenney via SD

Kyler Phillips def Song Yadong via UD

Askar Askarov def Joseph Benavidez via UD

Kai Kara-France def Rogerio Bontorin via Rd 1 KO (punches)

Early Prelims -

Tim Elliott def Jordan Espinosa via UD

Kennedy Nzechukwu def Carlos Ulberg via Rd 2 KO (punches)

Sean Brady def Jake Matthews via Rd 3 submission (arm triangle)

Amanda Lemos def Lívia Renata Souza via Rd 1 KO

Uroš Medić def Aalon Cruz via Rd 1 KO (punches)

Trevin Jones def Mario Bautista via Rd 2 KO (punches)

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