UFC President Dana White confirmed Saturday night that middleweight kingpin Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya is moving up to take on light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, who recently won the 205-pound belt with a second-round knockout win over Dominick Reyes.
BetOnline opened the undefeated Adesanya (20-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC) as a -250 favorite, but it was up to -265 as of early Monday afternoon. Blachowicz is a +225 underdog.
Adesanya won the interim middleweight strap with a unanimous-decision win over Kelvin Gastelum in April of 2019. Then he became the undisputed champ with a second-round KO victory over Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 less than 13 months ago.
The 31-year old who was born in Nigeria but lives and trains in New Zealand has successfully defended his 185-pound strap twice with wins over Yoel Romero (UD) and Paulo Costa. Adesanya finished the previously-unbeaten Costa via second-round KO at UFC 253 on Sept. 27.
White was planning on booking a rematch between Whittaker and Adesanya, but he explained that the promotion went a different route when Whittaker didn’t express much interest in it after last week’s win over Jared Cannonier.
Blachowicz (27-8 MMA, 10-5 UFC) has won four consecutive fights, including three KO wins over Luke Rockhold, Corey Anderson and Reyes. He also has a split-decision win over Jacare Souza.
Since losing four of his first six UFC fights, the 37-year-old fighter from Poland is 8-1 in his last nine Octagon appearances dating back to October of 2017. The only loss during that stretch came by third-round KO against Thiago Santos.
The date and venue for this scrap is yet to be determined.