Who is the only fighter in the UFC to defeat Israel Adesanya?

Zohan Mistry
|Published 29/04/2022

Who is the only fighter in the UFC to ever defeat Israel Adesanya? The reigning middleweight champion had an unblemished record until he ran foul of a certain someone. 

In his entire professional MMA career, he is still undefeated at middleweight. The same however, cannot be said about the The Last Stylebender’s record in the UFC.

His unbeaten run came to a screeching halt when he faced the then UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz for the title on 6 March 2021 at UFC 259.

Blachowicz is a national hero in Poland. After knocking out Dominick Reyes, he won the vacant title. In his title bout, though, he was the underdog, a tendency he would repeat against Israel Adesanya.

His fight with Adesanya surprised the MMA world because the Nigerian had previously stated that he would step up to light heavyweight in 2022 or later. Despite this, the fight was made, and there was no hatred between Israel Adesanya and Blachowicz even after their bout was over.

However, the stakes were high for Adesanya, who would lose his unbeaten record if he lost. That is precisely what happened, and Blachowicz defeated Adesanya after being overpowered. In the opening round, he came out flying, but the size difference was immediately apparent.

Israel Adesanya suffered his first loss after a dominant unanimous decision victory for the Polish superpower. Blachowicz took full advantage of Adesanya’s lesser weight of 193 pounds, which was 15 pounds less than his opponent. He dragged Adesanya to the mat and maintained him there, earning him several judges’ 10-8s.

“Dared to be great” –  Blachowicz on Adesanya

In defeat, the middleweight champion was gracious. He praised Blachowicz and said that he “dared to be great at the very least.”

Although Adesanya lost the fight, most fans commended him for attempting to move up a level when he didn’t have to.

Israel Adesanya is a natural fighter nearly synonymous with victory, although he has lost several times in his kickboxing career. In the post-fight interview, he mentioned prior losses and stated that he would also learn from this one.

‘The Last Stylebender,’ as he put it, ‘learned from his loss to Blachowicz.’ At UFC 263, Adesanya put on a dominant performance. The consequence was evident to all, as he utterly outperformed Marvin Vettori and nullified his wrestling, even taking him out with ease. It was one of Israel Adesanya’s best championship performances to date, and it won’t be the last.

Also Read: Mike Jackson discusses fight with CM Punk being ruled a No Contest due to failing marijuana drug test

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