Israel Adesanya much lighter than Jan Blachowicz for light heavyweight title bout at UFC 259 – ESPN

LAS VEGAS — Israel Adesanya will be significantly lighter than Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259, although not by as much as he indicated earlier this week.

Adesanya weighed 200.5 pounds Friday morning at the official UFC 259 weigh-ins at the UFC Apex. He didn’t strip down, as athletes usually do. He just wore sweats, and he had a cornerman bring him a box of pizza afterward.

No one has ever weighed as light as Adesanya did Friday and won the UFC light heavyweight title, per ESPN Stats & Information research. Fighters who weighed in lower than 202 pounds are 0-2.

On Saturday, the UFC middleweight champion is moving up to challenge for the light heavyweight title against champion Blachowicz. Earlier in the week, Adesanya told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that he could weigh as little as 193 pounds at weigh-ins. That was not the case. But Blachowicz weighed right at the 205-pound light heavyweight limit for a title fight and told ESPN he’d weigh about 220 pounds Saturday. Adesanya is unlikely to weigh much more Saturday than he does now.

Adesanya is attempting to become just the fifth fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two different divisions simultaneously. The others were Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Henry Cejudo and Amanda Nunes, who still holds a pair. Nunes defends her UFC women’s featherweight title against Megan Anderson in the co-main event Saturday.

Nunes was first to the scale Friday morning and weighed 145 pounds. Anderson was 144.5. Nunes is the UFC women’s featherweight and bantamweight champ. She is regarded as the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time.

ESPN has Adesanya ranked No. 4 in the world in its pound-for-pound rankings. At middleweight, Adesanya is ranked No. 1, while Blachowicz is ranked No. 2 at light heavyweight behind all-time great Jon Jones, who is in the process of moving to heavyweight.

Adesanya (20-0) has been the UFC middleweight champion since October 2019. He has two title defenses, including a dominant, second-round TKO over Paulo Costa at UFC 253 last September. Adesanya, 31, has won nine straight in the UFC going back to his February 2018 debut.

Blachowicz (27-8) won the vacant light heavyweight title with a second-round TKO over Dominick Reyes at UFC 253, the same card Adesanya headlined against Costa. The Poland native has won four straight, three of those by KO/TKO. Blachowicz, 38, has won eight of his past nine fights overall.

Petr Yan will attempt to defend his UFC bantamweight title for the first time on this card as well. Yan weighed in at 135 pounds, and challenger Aljamain Sterling was 134.5 pounds.

Askar Askarov missed weight by one pound, coming in at 127 pounds. He will be fined 20% of his purse, which will go to opponent Joseph Benavidez (125.5 pounds). The bout will still go on as scheduled. Glover Teixeira, a top light heavyweight contender, weighed in at 204.5 pounds as the backup for the Adesanya vs. Blachowicz main event.