In One week, comes a night of champions and challengers.
I’m a huge fan of Adesanya, he is a GREAT middleweight champion, however he is going up in weight, which he has done before as a kickboxer and a boxer, however he is going up in his first fight at a new weight class in MMA/UFC, against the Light Heavyweight Champion of the world in Blachowicz. Someone who has lived and breathed, and finally excelled and triumphed in that weight class.
Adesanya is jumping into the deepest end of the pool, with the champion of the weight class, and one of the hardest punchers of that weight class. Adesanya has made a legend of himself for triumphing over brawlers, that said, even in the middle weight division, while taller, he seemed under-sized and under powered compared to the best of the middleweights.
Everyone, and by this I mean interviewed MMA Fighters, is picking Adesanya to win this, largely because of how stunning, and unbeatable he has looked at middleweight, but I do think they are overlooking the huge step up in power, durability, that Blachowicz is going to have. And likely the reduced speed Adesanya is going to have… as he carries this additional weight, and tries to punch harder, to hurt a guy who is naturally a solid 30lbs heavier than him. We have weight classes for a reason, I see it being a bad matchup for Adesanya.
Adesanya has proven he has a great chin, but even at middleweight his goal is to not try that chin too much, and he always seems a punch away from lights out. The Kelvin Gastelum fight, was an all out brawl with a power puncher, that gave Adesanya his hardest MMA challenge to date. Now he is going up to fight a bigger, stronger and better version of Gastelum, in Jan Blachowicz.
If Adesanya was a true light heavyweight with some fights under his belt in that weight class, I would have no problem seeing him winning this. But jumping right to the champion, with no fights or experience in that weight division, no experience with how his body is going to react with the increased weight, in a real light heavyweight fight… I don’t see him being prepared for the level shift, the loss of speed and mobility at that new weight, and the power of his opponent. I think it is an ill advised jump up, and he would have been better continuing to rule and solidify his reign at middle weight. And when ready, then start taking light-heavyweight fights , but with contenders, not out the gate title fight.
However that is me, from the safety of my couch, being prudent. Being prudent is not what made Adesanya a champion and a household name. it was his willingness to always challenge himself, and risk losing in order to win. So I have no call, to 2nd guess him. None of us do. His courage… win, lose or draw… has brought him this far. And win, lose, or draw, his courage… will continue to make him one of the best of the world. They are all champions because they risk, where other people do not have the courage to risk. Success is ultimately… failure risked. And the bulk of humanity is afraid to risk. However, not Adesanya, or all those who compete at the highest level.
But all that said, no, I don’t see him beating Blachowicz on 6 March. I will be happy to be proven wrong, and for The Last Style-bender to once more shock the world. Maybe he will thrive and be more powerful at the 205 weight class. Time will tell.
And in the other two title fights I likewise do not see the championship belts, changing hands. I don’t see Nunes losing to Anderson, and while a huge fan of Sterling, Yan is a tough night out. I just see Yan’s pressure, and his leg kicks, and his punching power (if Sterling can’t back up Yan), being a train that is just going to run over Sterling. I’d like to be wrong in that, as well.
So those are my predictions for 6 March! Feel free to like, subscribe, email, and share your predictions! :).
You can view the promo for the fight here:
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