Three title fights, including a superfight between champions, headline Saturday’s UFC 259 event from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The night’s main event sees middleweight champion Israel Adesanya travel up to the light heavyweight division to challenge 205-pound champion Jan Blachowicz for the belt.
Adesanya has had an incredibly fast rise through the promotion. He captured the interim middleweight crown in just his sixth fight before unifying the belt in his seventh. Now, he’ll look to become the fastest simultaneous two-division champion in just his 10th fight under the banner. Another champ-champ fills out this card in the co-main event when Amanda Nunes looks to defend her featherweight crown against top challenger Megan Anderson. Nunes has defended the 145-pound once since earning it over Cris Cyborg in 2018 — outpacing Felicia Spencer by decision last June. That also marks her only other appearance in the Octagon in the last 15 months as she’s dealt with some minor injuries as well as the birth of her first child with partner Nina Ansaroff.
This card also marks the return of bantamweight champion Petr Yan when he takes on Aljamain Sterling in a much-anticipated clash for the 135-pound title. Plus, lightweight Islam Makhachev makes his first appearance inside the Octagon in 18 months when he takes on the surging Drew Dober. And former light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos opens the PPV portion of the card when he faces red-hot Aleksandar Rakic in a critical 205-pound clash.
It didn’t take long for controversy to grip UFC 259, with a late stoppage leaving those watching on in disbelief.
A first-round stoppage victory for Uros Medic at lightweight was ultimately marred by the nature of the finish and referee Mark Smith’s inaction.
Medic had Aalon Cruz hurt within the first minute of their bout on the early prelims, with Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier calling for the fight to stop.
“He’s got to stop it,” Rogan said with 4:06 left in the first round as Medic went to work on the ground. “Stop the fight, it’s over.”
With 3:56 left in the round, Rogan added: “This is unnecessary punishment. This is unnecessary.”
Cruz was squirming and moving just enough to keep Smith from stopping the bout, with the 31-year-old getting back to his feet at one point, only to be dropped again immediately.
“I don’t understand what he’s waiting for,” Cormier said.
“I can’t believe he’s not stopping this,” Rogan added with 3:
HOW TO WATCH
Prelims: Watch Live UFC with ESPN on Kayo. Full Fight Night Events, PPV Prelims & More. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
Main Card: Watch UFC 259, Blachowicz v Adesanya and Nunes v Anderson on Foxtel’s Main Event, on Sunday 7 March at 2pm AEDT. ORDER NOW >
FULL CARD AND RESULTS
Main Card (2PM)
Jan Blachowicz (c) vs. Israel Adesanya (c) — light heavyweight title
Amanda Nunes (c) vs. Megan Anderson — women’s featherweight title
Petr Yan (c) vs. Aljamain Sterling (1) — bantamweight title
Islam Makhachev (14) vs. Drew Dober (15) — lightweight
Thiago Santos (2) vs. Aleksandar Rakic (4) — light heavyweight
Dominick Cruz (11) vs. Casey Kenney — bantamweight
Song Yadong (14) vs. Kyler Phillips — bantamweight
Joseph Benavidez (2) vs. Askar Askarov (3) — flyweight
Rogerio Bontorin (8) vs. Kai Kara-France (8) — flyweight
Early Prelims (9.15AM)
Tim Elliott (12) vs. Jordan Espinosa — flyweight
Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Carlos Ulberg — via second round TKO — light heavyweight
Sean Brady def. Jake Matthews — via third round submission — welterweight
Amanda Lemos def. Livinha Souza (15) — via first round TKO — women’s strawweight
Uros Medic def. Aalon Cruz — via first round TKO — lightweight
Trevin Jones def. Mario Bautista — via second round TKO — bantamweight