Adesanya v Blachowicz: Kiwi UFC champ squares off against Polish rival before UFC 259

Kiwi mixed martial arts star Israel Adesanya has squared off against his Polish opponent Jan Błachowicz before the blockbuster UFC 259 in Las Vegas. 

'The Last Stylebender' (20-0) will step up a weight class, as he looks to become just the fifth fighter in the promotion's history to hold simultaneous world titles - a feat that would earn him a place in the pantheon of mixed martial arts.

The step up in weight doesn't scare Adesanya, who looks forward to creating history. 

"I've got a big mouth so I can chew a lot," Adesanya says. "For me, this is what I've always predicted to do in this game - to change the game and change history.

"I came in here just over three years ago and I have a long way to go." 

The 31-year-old will face a stern test against current UFC light-heavyweight champion Błachowicz (27-8, with eight knockouts and nine by submission), who comes into the contest with eight wins in his last nine fights and is very aware of the dangers the Kiwi brings to the cage. 

"I'm just happy that I can defend my belt against someone like Israel," Błachowicz says. "I'm happy and excited, and cannot wait to step inside the Octagon and fight against him. 

"I try to knock him out and defend myself as best I can. I will try to use all my power and weight to wrestle to take him down or knock him out.

"He's a really good striker, so I have to watch for everything."

Join us on Sunday for live updates of UFC 259, including Adesanya v Blachowicz