Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz are set on a collision course, according to UFC President Dana White. Shortly after former middleweight champ Robert Whittaker defeated top contender Jared Cannonier, White was quick to claim that Whittaker and Adesanya have no interest in a rematch. With majority of the top contenders already suffering defeat to the champ, the UFC looks to potentially see another double-champ superstar in “The Last Stylebender.”
Israel Adesanya’s Path to Victory
The middleweight champ has shown his diversity in striking to be unmatched. Being the smaller fighter, he will have the speed advantage. Mix this with his precision accuracy and you have a superior stand-up striker. If Adesanya can keep it standing and at distance, he may just gnarl Blachowicz’s leg as he did with Paulo Costa. Though, his opponent is likely aware of this, so the champ will likely need a new game plan. I can foresee the champ using his Muay Thai skills in the plum and quickly circling out of danger. It’s not as safe as a distance striking game, but I expect Blachowicz to force the battle into a closer striking range. Regardless, Adesanya will have the larger toolkit to keep his opponent guessing. It’s that diverse creativity that will make the largest difference in the striking.
Jan Blachowicz’s Path to Victory
The newly minted light heavyweight champ has turned a corner in his striking game. He’s not as far behind Adesanya in striking as some oddsmakers have suggested. He will also have a thirty plus pound weight advantage over Adesanya. He will be able to use this weight advantage to push the smaller fighter around in the octagon. Should it go to the ground, the weight difference will create a massive deficit for Israel. Jan is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so it is possible to see the a submission victory for Blachowicz. Since Adesanya is very aware of this fact, expect Adesanya to scramble and use his anti-wrestling to avoid this outcome. Jan also has the heavier hands, knocking out much larger opponents regularly. It only takes one and should Adesanya be cornered at any point, it will be lights out for the middleweight champ.
Prediction for Adesanya vs. Blachowicz
Israel Adesanya by fourth round TKO. Stylebender is undefeated for good reason. Like the last long reigning middleweight champ, Anderson Silva, Adesanya has the ability to weather the storm and download his opponent’s tendencies. Adesanya is also too smart to rush in without a plan, or at the very least learn quickly from his mistakes. This was shown in his lackluster performance against Yoel Romero. Despite the unpopular slow pace, Adesanya learned quickly that potshots are the way to go against dangerous knockout artists. Both men may be tentative early, the patience of Adesanya will likely be the key to victory in this super-fight. If you’re looking to lay money on Adesanya, a late finish is your best bet. If you’re looking for a big payout, look at underdog Blachowicz to count Adesanya early in the first two rounds.