In an interview with The Schmo following the official weigh-ins, the champion was asked to rate Israel Adesanya as an opponent and share his thoughts on Stylebender weighing in at 200.5lb for the fight, much below the divisional limit of 205lbs.
Blachowicz left the rating business for later but elaborated on his approach to fighting his much lighter opponent in the smaller 25-foot octagon. He told The Schmo that he would use his size and strength to get the upper hand in grappling exchanges.
However, Blachowicz, who is a predominantly stand-up fighter himself, told The Schmo that he would not mind testing his striking skills against a versatile striker like Israel Adesanya.
"We'll see. I'll tell you after the fight. Maybe (he is), maybe (he's) not," Jan Blachowicz said.
"I will use all my weight, you know. Cage is also small, so it's good for me because he's got good footwork, so I don't need to run too much to catch him. I'll use my weight and power to grab him, take him to the ground and finish the fight over there. But anyway I like fighting in stand-up, so I will try my stand-up skills on him also," Jan Blachowicz said.
Jan Blachowicz is slated to defend his light heavyweight title against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in the headliner of the UFC 259 PPV event on March 6, 2021.
The event will take place at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 25-feet octagon at Apex is much smaller than the 30-feet octagons used in other venues. Blachowicz seems to be exuding confidence in winning the fight in the smaller octagon.
How does a smaller cage benefit Jan Blachowicz?
The 25-feet octagon has about 44% less area than the regular-sized octagon. The smaller octagon gives a lot less moving space to fighters, and it is believed that the finishing rate is much higher in fights that take place in the smaller cage.
Israel Adesanya is one of the fighters that rely on effective movement and range management to counter his opponents. Moreover, Adesanya is a much smaller (~200lbs) opponent for Blachowicz (~220lbs) in terms of body weight.
Unlike Israel Adesanya, Jan Blachowicz is a plotting fighter and a much more physical athlete.
The Stylebender's strength disadvantage coupled with limited movement in the smaller cage, could potentially strip him of many weapons in his arsenal. That may allow Blachowicz to have a close-quarter battle as opposed to Adesanya's preferred approach of inflicting damage from outside his opponent's range.