UFC 234: Israel Adesanya defeats UFC legend Anderson Silva

Rex Christensen
February 12, 2019

His headline bout against Anderson Silva at UFC 234 in Melbourne might not have finished how many expected, but he faced - and beat - the greatest middleweight in UFC history, as Adesanya lived out a dream. No, it wasn't the man he defeated twice before.

"We have most of this year laid out already and I don't think one of those is to come back to Australia with a title fight", White said.

Entering the fight, fans and pundits alike considered Adesanya to be a better version of Silva due to some similarities in their fighting style. "I continue to fight because this is my heart".

The influences Silva has had on Adesanya were clear during the fight, with similarities between the approaches of the two obvious to see. "It's one of those situations where if it had popped out during the fight it could have been fatal for him".

The Nigerian-born Adesanya, 29, is considered one of the UFC's most high-profile title contenders, with a spectacular fighting style that reminds numerous 43-year-old Silva in his prime.

It's just the latest in a series of episodes of bad luck for Whittaker, who had to duck out of a title defence in Perth 12 months ago due to illness and injury, and suffered a broken hand in his last bout with Yoel Romero in June 2018.

In the final five minutes of the fight, Adesanya surged ahead with a stronger showing on his feet while blasting Silva with several low kicks to the thigh.

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When the judges returned their scorecards, Adesanya earned the victory with a 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 unanimous decision to move to 16-0 in his mixed martial arts career.

As he put it: "For a basketballer, this is like playing against Michael Jordan".

"(Expletive) all this - I don't want to hurt nobody", Diaz said.

'Apparently if you get emergency surgeries you can't be cleared to fight. "I showed up, traveled thousands and thousands of miles from home, made the weight".

However, the champion posted a video on Instagram which suggested the injury was extremely serious.

"I was like "what are you talking about?' He's like 'I'm so sorry for this I've let people down". You can't plan for these things", Whittaker said.

Earlier this week, White had said the winners of the Whittaker-Gastelum and Adesanya-Silva fights would meet later this year. The two athletes showed off an array of creative striking exchanges and ultimately the better of those went to the younger Adesanya.

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