by Ben Burns
UFC 259 Preview
UFC's second PPV of 2021 goes this Saturday (March 6) and it figures to be a good one. No fewer than three different titles are up for grabs.The main event sees Middleweight champ Israel Adesanya move up to 205 pounds to take on Jan Blachowicz for the Light Heavyweight belt. At Featherweight, Amanada Nunes faces Megan Anderson. Additionally, Petr Yan makes the first defense of his Bantamweight belt, going up against Aljamain Sterling.
The Main Event
Talk about respect. Despite moving up in weight, Adesanya is still a -240 favorite. At 20-0, he's clearly one of the biggest stars in the sport. If he wins this and becomes a champ in two divisions, he'll already be considered one of the greatest ever. You may recall him disposing of Paulo Costo with ease in his last fight. The Middleweight champ will be faster and he'll be the more technical striker. Blachowicz has serious power of his own though. The big Polish fighter catches Adesanya with one good shot and anything is possible. While I do think Adesanya will get it done, I don't expect it to be nearly as easy as the Costo fight.
Nunes is the biggest favorite (roughly -1200) on the card and for good reason. The "Goat" of women's MMA, Nunes has already done (belts at two weight classes) what Adesanya is trying to achieve. Nunes has dominated everyone: Rousey, Cyborg, Tate and Holm to name just a few. She can knock opponents out or she can choke them out. Anderson is a "knock-out artist" herself but she's outclassed here.
With a line of roughly a pick'em, this is expected to be the most competitive of the three title fights. Given the amount of trash talk between them, it should be exciting. The two fighters were originally supposed to fight back in December and the war of words between them has been going on for months. Yan had this to say: "He likes to talk a lot. He's a big mouth and sometimes I just happen to answer his tweets. For me, he's just another opponent, but I understand that he's the challenger and he needs to attract attention that he needs so much. As I started training and preparing, recently he's gone quiet. I don't know what happened. I don't know what happened to his big mouth ... " Yan went on to say: "... I don’t know what he's hoping for when he fights me. Is he hoping just to work his jiu-jitsu on me? I don't understand. I work and train with black belts so it’s not a problem for me. I'm training to break him and destroy him. I can't see what he's going to offer me and I'm determined to prove to everyone that I deserve to be champion. I'm gonna defend this belt for a long time ... " Naturally, Sterling feels much differently. He had this to say: "Petr Yan has beaten up a lot of old men. I want to prove he's been the paper champ this entire time."
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