One of the most intriguing fight cards of the year will be on display at the return of the Ultimate Fighting Championship with three matchups for the league title all taking place on Saturday, March 6 at UFC 259. The most anticipated of all Fights on the program will of course be the intriguing light heavyweight title fight with the current undefeated middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (20-0-0) rising from a weight class to face an experienced and serious fighter in the current light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz (27-8-0). The main card fights begin at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET with live coverage of UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada and live broadcast provided on ESPN Plus PPV.
The main co-event and another title fight that will pit the current champion against each other should also be interesting. Amanda Nunes (20-4-0) against the rising star Megan Anderson (11-4-0) for the Women’s Featherweight Championship belt. In a fight that will determine a bantamweight champion, current title belt holder Petr yan (15-1-0) will face a very competent challenger in the No. 1 ranking Aljamain Sterling (19-3-0).
Here’s a look at the full fight card and odds before each fight, followed by the full preview info, schedule of events, and more provided below, along with information on how you can watch the fights live online on ESPN + PPV for as low as $ 69.99 if you are a current subscriber, and an additional $ 20 ($ 89.99) if you’re new to ESPN + and need to sign up for the bundle (see below for details).
UFC 259 MAIN CARD ODDS (updated 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET on March 6)
• Israel Adesanya (c) -275 v (c) Jan Blachowicz +205 – Light heavyweight title fight
• Amanda Nunes (c) -1100 vs. Megan Anderson +600 – Women’s featherweight title fight
• Petr Yan (c) -140 against Aljamain Sterling +110 – Fight for the bantamweight title
• Islam Makhachev -500 against Drew Dober +340 – Light
• Aleksandar Rakic -185 against Thiago Santos +145 – Light heavyweight
• Casey Kenney -130 v Dominick Cruz +105 – bantamweight
• Song Yadong -175 v Kyler Phillips +140 – bantamweight
• Askar Askarov -145 against Joseph Benavidez +115 – Flyweight
• Kai Kara-France -130 against Rogerio Bontorin +105 – Flyweight
FIRST PRELIMES DIMENSIONS
• Tim Elliott -130 against Jordan Espinosa +105 – Flyweight
• Carlos Ulberg -250 v Kennedy Nzechukwu +190 – Light heavyweight
• Sean Brady -220 v Jake Matthews +170, – welterweight
• Amanda Lemos -245 against Livinha Renata Souza +185 – female strawweight
• Uros Medic -175 against Aalon Cruz +135 – Lightweight
• Mario Bautista -225 v Trevin Jones +180 – bantamweight
UFC 259 PREVIEW
Israel Adesanya climbed the UFC 259 ladder wearing a mask and sweatpants. After weighing several pounds below the limit for his light heavyweight title fight, he waved to his cornerman, who handed him a pizza box.
Few fighters love a little more cheese than Adesanya, whose charismatic flamboyance is as fun as his otherworldly fighting skills. Adesanya’s attempt to join the UFC’s most exclusive champions club tops the long list of reasons to be curious about UFC 259 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Only four fighters in UFC history have accomplished the feat attempted in the main event of this pay-per-view show by Adesanya (20-0), the 185-pound middleweight champion of the martial arts promotion. mixed for almost two years.
The Nigeria-born New Zealander takes 20 pounds – well, only around 15, roughly a slice – to face Jan Blachowicz (27-8) for the light heavyweight belt.
The only fighters to hold two UFC titles simultaneously are Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Henry Cejudo and current two-belt holder Amanda Nunes (20-4), whose latest featherweight title defense against Megan Anderson is the co-event. lead of UFC 259. None of those two-time champions were undefeated at the time, as Adesanya will stay on if he defeats Blachowicz.
“It’s a very elite and exclusive club, and I’m going to be the fifth to join this club,” said Adesanya, who has torn the middleweight division with nine straight wins in three years since joining the UFC.
One of the deepest and most intriguing UFC maps of recent years also features Russian bantamweight champion Petr Yan’s first title defense against Aljamain Sterling in a fight without a clear favorite. The undercard features former champion Dominick Cruz, veteran Joseph Benavidez and rising Chinese bantamweight Song Yadong.
Adesanya was a competitive dancer before moving into kickboxing and then MMA, and few opponents could touch him on his perfect run through the UFC’s best 185-pound competition. He’s firmly established as the heir to Anderson Silva in the middleweight division, but Adesanya craves the historic achievements and salaries that made him take the risk of moving up.
“That’s what I always predicted I would do in this game, and it will change the game, change history,” said Adesanya. “I came here a little over three years ago, and look what I did. And I have a long way to go.
On his way is Blachowicz, 38, who punctuated a tenacious MMA career by knocking out Dominick Reyes last October to claim the vacant 205-pound belt long held by Jon Jones.
Adesanya’s highlight knockouts and her overall athletic dominance were too much for all of her previous 20 opponents. But Blachowicz is a powerful puncher with a significant weight advantage over Adesanya, and the smaller octagon used at the Apex could put the Polish champion in a position to trample Adesanya, downplaying the impact of the middleweight champion’s punching skills.
“I’m going to try to knock him out and defend myself the best I can,” Blachowicz said. “I’m going to try to use my power, (or) my struggle to bring him down, or I’m going to knock him out.” But he’s a great striker, and I have to be careful.
Adesanya’s notoriety and stardom grows with each victory, and two title belts would amplify that status. The UFC and its international broadcast partners are looking for a cross-border superstar to succeed McGregor, and Adesanya is excited about the opportunity to step up.
“It’s inevitable, but I just have to get used to it,” Adesanya said. “I have to accept it and not hide from the role I’m in, the platform I’m on. I have to be who I am and I don’t run away from it.
The first title fight on the card seems to be the least predictable, with Yan’s impressive skills and Sterling’s solid ground play in stark contrast. The fight could hinge on Yan’s defense against his Long Island-born challenger, who struggled in college while starting MMA.
Nunes is a solid favorite in her first fight in nine months, and her first since his wife, UFC fighter Nina Ansaroff, gave birth to their first child. Nunes’ 11-game winning streak in the past 6.5 years is the longest by a woman in UFC history, but her last two opponents have seen her make decisions – although Nunes does not ‘lost only one round combined in those two fights.
At least the 6-foot Anderson is a significant physical challenge for Nunes, who is a good four inches shorter than the Australian challenger.
“I’m just ready to put on a show,” Anderson said. “Everyone is invincible until they are not.”
– Greg Beachem, The Associated Press
HOW TO WATCH
What: UFC 259
When: Saturday, March 6 – Main card fights start at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET (full schedule below)
Or: UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada (6650 El Camino Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89118)
TV channel: ESPN + Pay-per-view (this event is not available on traditional cable TV packages, but is available live on ESPN Plus PPV. Here is an overview of how you can watch ESPN + live on your TV.)
Watch the live stream online: You can watch a live stream of the fights for $ 69.99 on ESPN + if you already have an ESPN + subscription, or if you don’t already have an ESPN + annual subscription, you can buy the package for $ 89.99 which gives you the fight AND a year of access to ESPN + subscribers, which is a screaming deal. (A regular one-year ESPN + subscription costs $ 59.99, so you get $ 30 off the list price.)
Is ESPN + Worth It? It depends on how big a sports fan you are and what sports are important to you. Our complete guide to ESPN + explanations should help you make an informed decision and help you find out how to get ESPN + games on your TV.
FULL UFC 259 CALENDAR
- Early preliminaries, 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET
- Preliminary, 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET
- Main Card, 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET
More information on the web and how to watch the latest sports live on TV: