UFC 259 features three blockbuster title fights. In the main event, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya challenges light heavyweight counterpart Jan Blachowicz for the title. In the co-main event, Amanda Nunes defends her featherweight crown against Megan Anderson, and bantamweight champion Petr Yan takes on number one ranked Aljamain Sterling.
Start to finish, #UFC259 is LOADED with talent 🤩
— UFC (@ufc) March 3, 2021
UFC 259 also features a number of fantastic fights, including a lightweight contest between Islam Makhachev and Drew Dober, and a light heavyweight fight between Alexander Rakic and Thiago Santos.
Jan Blachowicz (-265) vs Israel Adesanya (+225)
Keys To Victory For Jan Blachowicz
Jan Blachowicz has a tough test in the shape of Israel Adesanya at UFC 259. While he is the underdog like most of the time, he still has solid chances of winning this fight.
Push The Pace: Blachowicz should do what he does best. He should set the pace, and be aggressive early on. Of course, he has to be careful not to be too complacent against a striker with Adesanya’s pedigree. The 38-year-old has great instincts to keep his head moving when he is attacking, which could work well against a guy like Adesanya, who loves head kicks.
Attack The Body: Blachowicz is a ferocious striker and utilizes his crushing body kicks to make his opponent have second thoughts about fighting him. With a striker like Adesanya, who is exceptional with his head movement, Jan should attack his opponent’s body as it will force him to suck air and drop his hands, which eventually makes him vulnerable to head strikes.
Grapple: Adesanya is a really smart defensive grappler. His positioning is amongst the best in the world, and he is technically very sound, and therefore, a hard man to take down. However, Blachowicz can use his strength advantage to try and force his opponent onto the mat. He will have to mix things up if he wants to win this fight.
— UFC (@ufc) March 3, 2021
Keys To Victory For Israel Adesanya
Defensive Awareness: Adesanya is a master when it comes to managing distance and range. He remains on the outside and stings his opponents without taking much damage in return. With a fierce striker like Blachowicz, who also happens to have almost the same reach and length as himself, ‘The Last Stylebender’ will have to be extra cautious and keep attacking the legs before an opportunity eventually arrives.
Controlled Aggression: Adesanya understands that engaging himself in a violent fight with Blachowicz could easily backfire, therefore, he will have to be very calculated in his approach. He should do what he does best, which is to use his leg kicks to draw Blachowicz towards him, and then sting him on the counter.
Fight Longer: It’ll be a massive moment for Adesanya if he can finish the fight early, but if Blachowicz isn’t fazed by his power, the Nigerian-New Zealander should look to take his opponent into championship rounds, and up the ante on a fading Blachowicz to win via decision.
A growing legacy…
🏆 Stylebender looks to take his next step at #UFC259.
— UFC (@ufc) March 2, 2021
Amanda Nunes (-1300) vs Megan Anderson (+750)
Keys To Victory For Amanda Nunes
Dictate The Terms: Anderson is a legitimate kickboxer with excellent reach and length. On paper, she isn’t a major cause of concern for the reigning champion, but that doesn’t mean she should be overlooked. Amanda Nunes needs to dictate the pace of the fight right from the word go, be the aggressor, and manage the distance well. She should avoid rushing in with her punches, as Anderson is a powerful striker.
Take The Fight To The Mat: Anderson isn’t known for her grappling, and although she must have worked hard on it for her fight with Nunes, it still wouldn’t be enough, given the fact that how technically gifted and strong the featherweight queen is. Should she take the fight to the ground, Nunes wouldn’t have much of a problem and would find an opening sooner or rather than later.
— UFC (@ufc) March 1, 2021
Keys To Victory For Megan Anderson
Big Frame: Megan Anderson is a big girl, and she would certainly have a size advantage over Nunes, which could play an important role in their fight. If Anderson uses her length and reach advantage well, keeps away from the Brazilian’s hands, and counterattacks, she could certainly have a chance. The Aussie should also utilize her kicks more during the fight.
Power Punches: Anderson is dearly mistaken if she believes she can outgun Amanda Nunes in a five-round fight. At some point in the fight, ‘The Lioness’ is going to find her rhythm, and once she gets going, she’s a hard fighter to stop. Therefore, Anderson needs to land early, and land hard, decisive blows.
Petr Yan (-110) vs Aljamain Sterling (-110)
Keys To Victory For Petr Yan
Fast Start: Aljamain Sterling is a high-pressure wrestler who just runs at his opponents right from the word go. Therefore, Petr Yan will have to sting him early to earn his respect. Yan, whose entire game plan is predicated on pressure and ring control, should make it a fast-paced battle from the start, so his opponent wears himself out quickly. Yan can go five rounds as we have seen in the past, but Sterling’s stamina is yet to be tested in a five-round fight.
Keep The Fight In The Center: Sterling loves to pressure his opponents against the cage and shoot for double-leg takedowns, much like Khabib Nurmagomedov. With Yan being the highly-skilled competitor he is, he would be able to stuff the takedowns, and use his sweeps to force the fight back to the center of the cage, where the chances of him winning increase substantially.
The talk is finally over 🗣
We're 5️⃣ days until 'No Mercy' vs 'Funkmaster'
— UFC (@ufc) March 2, 2021
Keys To Victory For Aljamain Sterling
Chain Wrestling: This is Sterling’s best way of winning the fight. Yan is a high-level fighter and he won’t be going down easily, or at all, therefore, Sterling will have to keep trying until he lands his takedowns. There’s genuinely no alternative way for the ‘Funk Master’ to win this fight.
Use His Kicks: It’s highly likely that the fight remains on the feet for the majority of the time, and if that is the case, Yan is going to have a major advantage. However, Sterling is a kick-heavy fighter, who should play to his strengths and use his leg and body kicks to hinder the Russian’s mobility. It would be a great way to soften him up before shooting for a takedown.
UFC 259 is a fantastic card, and it shouldn’t be missed at any cost.
What are your predictions for UFC 259?