By Dillon Neibel
UFC superstar king of the Middleweights Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya successfully defended his belt, and Jan “John” Blachowicz claimed the vacant Light Heavyweight belt this past weekend at UFC 253.
In the main event of UFC 253, the phenomenal striker and combat sports expert defended his belt by knocking out the previously undefeated Brazilian, Paulo “The Eraser” Costa, for his 100th professional victory in combat sports. Adesanya is a once in a lifetime practitioner of martial arts, with a 5-1 record in boxing, 75-5 in kickboxing and 20-0 in MMA. Adesanya possesses quite possibly the best striking abilities the UFC has ever seen. The champion’s meteoric rise is hard not to appreciate.
The man is a giant anime and comic book nerd and really applies that to his life as a martial artist, his theatrics, wit and appreciation for legacy makes him some sort of living legend in the making. I mean, the guy won his belt at the Marvel Stadium (as in Marvel comics) in Australia, and Marvel even had some comic book art made for the fighters.
Newly crowned Light Heavyweight champion Blachowicz also claimed victory via knockout against Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes in a true display of Polish power. Blachowicz sits on top of a division now that is filled with hungry talent since former champ Jon “Bones” Jones vacated the belt.
Jan Blachowicz vs. Dominick Reyes
One has to wonder if the new champs’ good fortune comes from his new pre-fight ritual involving a noose he found with a man hanging from it in the forest. https://www.mmafighting.com/2020/9/16/21440237/jan-blachowiczs-pre-fight-ritual-includes-touching-rope-from-hanged-man-he-found-in-forest
Also buzzing in the MMA world is a fast-rising newcomer from Sweden, Khamzat “Borz” Chimaev. The 26-year-old is undefeated at 8-0 with his three most recent fights inside of the octagon. But, it is what he has done in those three fights that has everyone watching him. In his first fight, Chimaev won by submission in the 2nd round, then in an unprecedented 10 days, had his second UFC fight won by TKO (Technical Knockout) in the 1st round, landing 192 strikes on his opponent while only taking two shots himself. Now, in his most recent bout, he knocked out veteran Gerald “GM3” Meerschaert in only 17 seconds with a devastating right hand. Did I mention that he has been bouncing between the Welterweight and Middleweight divisions for these fights?
The buzz around this guy is insane right now, making him one of the fastest rising stars of the sport. President of the UFC, Dana White, has been quite vocal about how impressed he is by Chimaev, and anyone who knows this organization knows how big of a deal that is. As a matter of fact, White has guaranteed that this unranked rookie will be given a five round main event fight against a ranked opponent in only his 4th UFC fight. Number 6th and 7th ranked Welterweights Steven “Wonderboy” Thompson and Damian Mai respectively are being considered for this rising rookie.
Thompson is a highly-skilled martial arts striker having spent the majority of his life in karate, tae kwon do and the like, while Mai is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt of one of the highest degrees in the world. Needless to say both fights present very different challenges for Chimaev, and given the versatility he has shown thus far, it might not matter. The buzz is so big that rumors of this young fighter challenging Middleweight champ Adesanya himself, and White has even expressed interest in that fight. That would be a title fight in which a man with less than 10 professional combat fights challenges a world champion with over 100.