Israel Adesanya, UFC 253

Israel Adesanya lands a kick on Paulo Costa in the main event of UFC 253. Adesanya won the fight by second-round TKO.

Matchmaker Monday following UFC 253

UFC 253 saw an era continue and another one just begin.

Middleweight king Israel Adesanya made easy work of Paulo Costa in the main event and it appears that he’s going to rein over that division for awhile.

Meanwhile in the co-main event, Jan Blachowicz secured the vacant light heavyweight title by knocking out Dominick Reyes. Blachowicz is the first person in the last nine years to hold that title whose name is not Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier.

After a great card, let’s find out what’s next for the men involved in the main and co-main events.

Israel Adesanya
Result: defeated Paulo Costa by second-round TKO at UFC 253
Next: winner of Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier

Izzy does it flawlessly again. The way he’s built and the way the he moves is something special and it’s going to take a lot in order to beat him.

I thought coming into this fight that people were sleeping on Costa because of the power in his hands, but what good is that power when you’re standing there and allowing your opponent to chop away at your legs.

Anyways, Adesanya is the real the deal and at 185-pounds I don’t know who exactly can be the one to dethrone him, but I know who is next to try and do it. That will be the winner of the UFC 254’s co-main event between former champion Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier, who is unbeaten at middleweight.

This one is easy to pick because Adesanya said if Cannonier wins, he’s next. Also UFC president Dana White said in his post-fight press conference that the winner of that fight is next.

Paulo Costa
Result: lost to Israel Adesanya by second-round TKO at UFC 253
Next: loser of Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier

Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya lands a kick on Paulo Costa in the main event of UFC 253. Adesanya won the fight by second-round TKO.

Costa’s performance was definitely a disappointment. I’m not sure what his game plan was, but it wasn’t a good one. We’ve seen him pressure guys and throw with bad intentions with every shot possible and on Saturday he did none of that.

As for what’s next, this is interesting. First off, his next move should be to go back to being the killer that he is, but that’s besides the point.

As for his next fight, one option is to move up to light heavyweight because of his size and how much weight he cuts, but for the sake of not knowing his exact intentions we’ll keep him at middleweight for now.

That leaves you with either the loser of the Whittaker Cannonier bout or the winner of Darren Till and Jack Hermansson, who fight in December. Either fight makes sense and it’s going to depend how those two fights play out, but for the time being we’ll book him with the loser of the upcoming elimination fight.

Jan Blachowicz
Result: defeated Dominick Reyes by second-round TKO at UFC 253
Next: winner of Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira

Jan Blachowicz, light heavyweight
Jan Blachowicz shows off his light heavyweight championship after beating Dominick Reyes for the vacant title at UFC 253.

Poland has another champion and his name Jan Blachowicz. The win on Saturday makes Blachowicz the first Polish champion since Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

While Blachowicz is celebrating, his next opponent will be determined in November when Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira meet in a title elimination fight.

Polish power has been on full display as of late, but the only person recently to not fall victim to Blachowicz is Santos, who has a win over Blachowicz.

The only person that can throw a wretch into these plans is Jon Jones if he decides to come back to the division, but for the time being Jones is being considered a heavyweight and now the new era of light heavyweight champions is upon us.

Dominick Reyes
Result: lost to Jan Blachowicz by second-round TKO at UFC 253
Next: loser of Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira

Reyes now has two losses on his record. Both are in title fights and they are now back-to-back losses. Despite coming up short twice in title fights, Reyes seems to be in high spirits as he tweeted a congratulations to Blachowicz and vowed to come back stronger following the loss.

 

Picking what’s next for Reyes will determine how active he wants to be. Following two championship losses this year, he might want some time off to clear his head. If he does want to stay active, then you can match him up with the loser of the Santos and Teixeira.

However there is a sleeper here and his name is Aleksandar Rakic.

Rakic is coming off a dominate win over Anthony Smith, he’s ranked in the top five and he has a great skill set. Rakic deserves one of these guys so don’t be surprised if Rakic jumps in there with Reyes or the loser of the Santos Teixeira fight.

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