Two championships were up for grabs at UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi, but only one was guaranteed to leave Fight Island in the hands of a new owner. Jan Blachowicz took home the previously-vacant light heavyweight title after beating Dominick Reyes, while the middleweight championship will be heading back to New Zealand with its previous owner after a successful title defense by Israel Adesanya.
Adesanya dominated Paulo Costa in the night's main event, silencing his rival after months of back-and-forth trash talk. Adesanya spent one round blasting Costa's legs with kicks before finishing the fight in the second round with a left hook that put Costa on the canvas and ground-and-pound that closed the show. With the win, Adesanya improved his perfect record to 20-0 and successfully defended his middleweight title for a second time.
Elsewhere on the card, Brandon Royval thrilled with a second-round submission over Kai Kara-France after the two had a wild exchange in the opening frame that saw both men wobbled. Royval is now 2-0 since joining the promotion. Ketlen Viera also bolstered her resume with a decision win over Sijara Eubanks. And Hakeem Dawodu got by Zubaria Tukhugov by split decision.
CBS Sports was with you throughout the week leading up to UFC 253 with our complete guide to all the action below.
UFC 253 fight card results
- Israel Adesanya (c) def. Paulo Costa via second-round TKO (strikes)
- (punches) to win light heavyweight title
- Brandon Royval def. Kai Kara France via second-round submission (guillotine choke)
- Ketlen Vieira def. Sijara Eubanks via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Hakeem Dawodu def. Zubaira Tukhugov via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Brad Riddell def. Alex Da Silva via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jake Matthews def. Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
- Ludovit Klein def. Shane Young via first-round TKO (head kick, punches)
- William Knight def. Aleksa Camur via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)