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UFC 253 Results: Israel Adesanya, Jan Blachowicz Shine Bright

The UFC returned to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi with a pair of world championships on the line live Saturday night.

The UFC returned to Fight Island Saturday night for UFC 253.

Israel Adesanya entered as the UFC middleweight champion, and he will leave Abu Dhabi with the title.

Adesanya handed Paulo Costa his first career loss, stopping the top contender in the second round live on pay-per-view.

The 31-year-old is now 20-0 overall including successful title defenses over Costa and Yoel Romero. Adesanya won the interim title in 2019 and unified it with a finish of Robert Whittaker later that year. 

For the first time in years, someone other than Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier can call themselves light heavyweight champion in the UFC.

Jan Blachowicz stunned favorite Dominick Reyes in the second round, finishing him to win the vacant belt.

Jones dropped the title to begin his chase of the heavyweight championship earlier this year. For Blachowicz, it is his first UFC crown as he is now on a four-fight win streak.

Brandon Royval made a name for himself heading into the final part of 2020 in the flyweight ranks. Royval submitted Kai Kara-France with a guillotine choke in the second round.

After suffering her first career defeat in December, Ketlen Vieira rebounded with a victory over Sijara Eubanks.

Vieira, who was knocked out by Irene Aldana, is now 11-1 including a 5-1 record inside the Octagon. 

To open the main card, Hakeem Dawodu downed Zubaira Tukhugov by split decision. The 29-year-old Dawodu has now won five in a row, with three of those being thanks to split decisions going in his favor. 

The featured prelim match went to Brad Riddell, as the heavyweight favorite withstood a game effort by Alex Silva.

Riddell swept the three scorecards to earn the win at lightweight.

Jake Matthews handled veteran Diego Sanchez, Ludovit Klein knocked out Shane Young and William Knight earned a decision over Aleksa Camur. 

In early prelim action that aired on ESPN2, ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass, Juan Espino submitted Jeff Hughes and Danilo Marques bested Khadis Ibragimov.

Espino locked up a scarf hold choke in the first round to earn the win at heavyweight. Marques picked up a decision at light heavyweight. 

UFC 253: Adesanya Vs. Costa Results

Israel Adesanya def. Paulo Costa via TKO (strikes) at 3:59 of Round 2 to remain UFC middleweight champion

Jan Blachowicz def. Dominick Reyes via TKO (strikes) at 4:36 of Round 2 to become the new UFC light heavyweight champion

Brandon Royval def. Kai Kara-France via submission (guillotine choke) at :48 of Round 2

Ketlen Vieira def. Sijara Eubanks via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Hakeem Dawodu def. Zubaira Tukhugov via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)

Brad Riddell def. Alex 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 KO (head-kick) at 1:16 of Round 1

William Knight def. Aleksa Camur via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Juan Espino def. Jeff Hughes via submission (scarf hold choke) at 3:48 of Round 1

Danilo Marques def. Khadis Ibragimov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

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