UFC 259: Adesanya To Fight Blachowicz At Walk-Around Weight
With the aim of becoming the latest UFC two-division champion, Israel Adesanya is set to challenge light heavyweight titleholder Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 on March 6th.
The middleweight champion decided to move up in weight to challenge Blachowicz after successfully defending his title at UFC 253 against Paulo Costa, finishing him in the second round.
Should he beat Blachowicz next month, Adesanya will become only the fifth UFC fighter to earn the rarefied ‘champ-champ’ status, after Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, Daniel Cormier, and Henry Cejudo.
No Bulking Up
When ‘The Last Stylebender’ enters the Octagon next month, he will weigh his usual walk-around weight. Speaking to 1 News, his head coach Eugene Bareman said he believes that Adesanya will be better off not putting on any additional muscle in preparation for his light heavyweight debut.
“We’re not putting on weight — the science of putting on weight and moving up in weight isn’t going to be a factor in this fight because we’ve decided to come in at our normal, walk-around weight,” Bareman said. “We’re hoping it gives us the advantages we need to win the fight rather than stack on muscle. I don’t think, with any amount of time or any amount of weight that Israel could put on, I don’t think he’s ever going to be stronger than Jan so we’ve decided: let’s try not to get stronger than Jan, let’s use that time to better-suited endeavours.”
Weight Classes Don’t Matter
According to Bareman, the recipe for being the best fighter in the world isn’t being the best in one’s own weight division, but beating bigger and heavier opponents.
“That’s the ultimate challenge… You have to be willing to take on bigger and heavier opponents as well as smaller opponents,” Bareman opined. “If you want to be the best fighter in the world then none of those people that are the champions of their weight divisions are the best fighters in the world — they’re the best fighters of their weight division in the world. Not many people get to be the best fighter in the world, regardless of weight division.”
Adesanya is no stranger to fighting bigger opponents. During his kickboxing career, he defeated fighters significantly bigger than him, and he’s looking to do the same in the UFC to cement his legacy as the best in the world.
“That’s the ultimate challenge — we’re trying to be the best fighter in the world regardless of weight,” Bareman said. “You’ve got to take on challenges like that and risk the biscuit.”
Do you believe Israel Adesanya fighting at his walk-around weight could play a key role in his fight with Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259?