top of page

Pierce: UFC 259 had it all - big finishes, weird moments, blockbuster bouts

Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Although UFC 259 was a Pay-Per-View main card, the free fights leading up to the final five bouts brought some incredible performances and stellar finishes.

The heat started in the early prelims where we saw the first five fights finish before the judges could even get involved. With the past couple of UFC events being fairly stagnant, this was a great change of pace.

The prelims maintained that same pace. Although three of the four fights went the distance, they were quite close and had some great performances. In the final bout before the main card, bantamweights Dominick Cruz and Casey Kenney put on a great show with Cruz ultimately taking the win.

Finally, it was time to see if the $70 investment was worth its weight in gold: UFC gold, that is. The top three fights were for their respective belts, and each one brought a very different aspect of competition than the other.

It started with the bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and No. 1 contender Aljamain Sterling. The fight was close, but Yan clearly had an edge over his opponent and all the momentum was in his favor. This all changed when Yan landed an illegal knee to the head on his grounded opponent.

It nearly knocked Sterling into another dimension, and it was clear the fight had to be stopped. Twitter was full of people saying that he was acting just to win the fight, but I do not believe this to be true at all.

“That’s not the way I wanted to win,” Sterling told Joe Rogan in the post-fight interview. “I thought the fight was very close. That’s not the way I envisioned this.”

As I sat watching the aftermath of the illegal knee, I couldn’t help but feel a little sick to my stomach. It was clear that this was a DQ-worthy event, but winning a championship in that way doesn’t sit quite right.

However, people should not take this title away from Sterling. He was not behind by much on the scorecards, despite looking like he was fading. He was still locked in a metal cage with an absolute killer, so let’s run it back and see what the rematch holds.

The next title on the line was the women’s Featherweight championship between double champ Amanda Nunes and challenger Megan Anderson. This was basically a glorified sparring match. No disrespect to Anderson, but Nunes’ complete control gave her yet another first round win under her belt.

Once the main event finally rolled around, the anticipation was high as the chance for another two division champ to be crowned is always exciting.

For the entire fight week, I have been saying that people are grossly underestimating light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, and that was exactly the case. Obviously middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is a superstar, and going into this fight as an undefeated professional, he was a favorite to win.

However, Blachowicz’s ability to take his opponent down and tally points set him up for a prime unanimous decision. I applaud Adesanya’s drive and desire to push the limits, but he was simply outmatched and looked like a fish out of water on his back.

“It didn’t go exactly the way I wanted it to go, but dare to be great,” Adesanya said in the post-fight interview.

Dare to be great is right. My hat is off to any champion who wants to push the limits and make history, but Saturday night belonged to Blachowicz and he deserves so much more respect than the public gives him.

The UFC will be back in action next week with UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad.

UFC 259 results

Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya: Unanimous Decision

Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson: Submission/2:03 Rd. 1

Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling: DQ/4:29 Rd. 4

Islam Makhachev vs. Drew Dober: Submission/1:37 Rd. 3

Thiago Santos vs. Aleksandar Rakic: Unanimous Dec.

bottom of page