As UFC 253 comes to an exciting end, the main card was filled with nothing but action.
To start the main card, Hakeem Dawodu and Zubaira Tukhugov put on a crazy bout. When the fight started, it appeared that Tukhugov was the dominant fighter and dictating the pace early. However, coming into the second and third round Dawodu was able to change the direction of the fight. Dawodu landed some fast blows making Tukhugov back paddle and left him inactive. With Dawdodu dictating the pressure, he was able to able to achieve a split decision victory and calling for one of the top 15 featherweights for his next fight.
After Dawodu's performance, the flyweight fight between Kai Kara France and Brandon Royval was an incredible event. In the opening minutes of the first round, both France and Royval were able to drop each other. Whether it was France's over hand right or Royval's spinning elbow, both fighters were able to come back from adversity and hang in the fight. Despite both fighters coming off strong, Royval was able to come off on top and secure a guillotine choke over the New Zealand fighter.
The co-main between Jan Blachowicz and Dominick Reyes was interesting set of events. At first glance, I believed that Reyes was going to come out on top with better striking and well placed movements. However, that wasn't the case. Blachowicz landed powerful kicks to the body and punches that kept Reyes from getting into his rhythm. At the end, Blachowicz was able to hurt Reyes in the second round and get that TKO victory making him the new lightheavyweight champion of the world.
Once Blachowicz was able to secure to title, the main event between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa took place. Despite most thinking Adesanya to be a boring fighter after his Romero performance, he was able to change that narrative. Adesanya picked Costa's leg apart and leave him constantly guessing. Adesanya was able to cancel Costa's brawling fight style and left him dumb struck on what to do. In the second round, Adesanya clipped Costa, secured a TKO victory, and remain the middleweight champ.
Photos by Josh Hedges