Israel Adesanya is aiming to join an elite group of fighters when he takes on current UFC light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 on Saturday night.
‘The Last Stylebender’ is making his first appearance in the 205lbs division after running through some of the best middleweight fighters in the world with consummate ease.
However, the Nigerian-born New Zealander now faces his toughest examination as he prepares to face the legendary ‘Polish Power’.
Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo have all held simultaneous titles in two different weight divisions, but Adesanya can also become the first ever undefeated UFC dual champion in history if he can topple Blachowicz.
The 38-year-old is no joke however; from going 2-4 in the UFC and on the brink of being let go, the light-heavyweight secured eight impressive victories which culminated in world championship gold on Fight Island in September.
What’s more, he may well have the answer to finally end Adesanya’s incredible unbeaten run in MMA.
Adesanya tasted defeat during his career as a kick boxer and was even knocked out cold.
In his last appearance, the New Zealander was knocked spark out by Alex Pereira while fighting in Glory of Heroes 7, in 2017.
The Brazilian actually defeated Adesanya in 2016 at the first Glory of Heroes show in China, but it was to be an emphatic repeat performance as he left the 31-year-old on the deck.
The left hook which Pereira can be seen dropping him with in the footage below is eerily similar to Blachowicz’s favoured shot; the lead left hook which has stopped both Luke Rockhold and Dominick Reyes in their tracks.
The Pole knocked the former middleweight champion out cold on his debut at 205lbs and then claimed the vacant title against Reyes in Abu Dhabi with a TKO finish. Yet it was that devastating left hook which was the beginning of the end for ‘The Dominator’.
Of course, landing on an opponent as elusive and talented in the stand-up exchanges as Adesanya will be extremely difficult for any man.
Yet if there is one fighter who has the ability to find an answer when the chips are down, it may be Jan Blachowicz with his legendary ‘Polish Power’.