Why Jan Blachowicz Is a Dangerous Threat to Israel Adesanya

Published 01/01/2021, 1:47 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 25: Jan Blachowicz of Poland poses on the scale during the UFC 253 weigh-in on September 25, 2020 at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


A few days back, the likelihood of Israel Adesanya moving up to light heavyweight became official with a date and an event next to it. Adesanya will be the first challenger of the belt to the current champion, Jan Blachowicz. Despite moving up twenty pounds in weight, most fans and pundits are picking Adesanya to capture his second UFC gold. However, as his fighting career has already taught us, sleeping on Jan Blachowicz isn’t the wisest of plans.

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In three months’ time, Blachowicz will step inside the Octagon against arguably the best striker on the UFC roster. The newly crowned 205-pounds champion will have a chance to hand the number three ranked pound-for-pound fighter the first defeat of his career.

Israel Adesanya will move up to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title at UFC 259, @danawhite told @bokamotoESPN. pic.twitter.com/FVt5v8BV2o

— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 31, 2020

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When you match the two fighters on paper, Adesanya will, undoubtedly, come out on top. A master in the art of throwing feints and catching his opponents with pinpoint accurate punches, Adesanya draws from the rich experience of his kickboxing career. The 31-year-old has gotten better with each passing fight. This is the reason he is the favorite against a fighter who has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in the career.

Despite all the technical breakdowns, Blachowicz has a habit of holding his own ground when the lights shine the brightest. Against Adesanya, despite being the underdog, he is perfectly capable of pulling off an upset.

Does Israel Adesanya have enough power to match that of Jan Blachowicz?

Israel Adesanya hasn’t been the one who would bank on his power to win him fights. Instead, he employs the use of an arsenal of weapons that includes kicks, switching stances, throwing feints, along with darting in and out of his opponent’s range. He has a habit of keeping his opponents guessing about his next move.

However, there can only be a sizeable difference between power that good technique can cover for. While Adesanya has been able to put the light out of his opponents at middleweight, can he do the same against someone who is accustomed to being hit much harder?

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 27: (L-R) Jan Blachowicz of Poland punches Dominick Reyes in their light heavyweight championship bout during UFC 253 inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on September 27, 2020, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

On top of it, Blachowicz is someone whose strikes don’t seem to land a ton of damage but ask his opponents and they will tell you that the ‘Polish Power’ is real. Adesanya isn’t taking a ton of time off the sport to bulk up in a more natural way, akin to what Jones has been doing. Therefore, one can’t expect him to be the same as a natural 205-pounder.

If Blachowicz manages to unleash the wrath of the legendary ‘Polish Power‘ on Adesanya, ‘The Last Stylebender’ may witness the first defeat of his career.

Blachowicz has a penchant for winning fights despite being the underdog

Jan Blachowicz didn’t have a prototypical path to light heavyweight glory. At one point in his career, he was struggling to cement his place on the UFC roster. However, Blachowicz didn’t flinch even in the toughest of times. In most of his past fights, Blachowicz was the underdog. Regardless, check his interview heading into fight week and you will see a relaxed veteran who is fighting because he is good at it. Everything else seems inconsequential for him.

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ATLANTA, GA – April 13: Israel Adesanya reacts after defeating Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision in their interim middleweight championship bout during the UFC 236 event at State Farm Arena on April 13, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Blachowicz’s story has uncanny resemblances with that of Brandon Moreno heading into the fight with Deiveson Figueiredo. He too had a career resurgence and was fighting the toughest test of his career. On top of it, he brought the same attitude to the table as Blachowicz does. So if Moreno could come inches within pulling off an upset, Blachowicz can do the same as well.

Having said all of that, the smart money still lies with Adesanya. However, sleeping on Blachowicz is a mistake that has been done way too often. Hence, there is nothing wise about repeating the same.

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Rishabh Singh

655 articles

Rishabh Singh is an MMA author at EssentiallySports since 2020. An engineer in the making, his love for combat sports began by watching Anderson Silva light people up inside the Octagon. When he isn't busy in his technical pursuits, he is an avid reader with a love for sports in general and sporting history in particular.

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