Israel Adesanya has beat middleweight MMA legend Anderson Silva by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 234 at the Rod Laver Arena.
Number six ranked Adesanya was favourite against the 43-year-old Silva in the breathtaking fight between two brilliant, creative fighters.
Adesanya claimed the unanimous decision, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 and remains unbeaten in his professional career, at 16-0.
“This is like, for a kid, if I played basketball against Michael Jordan. This is it for me,” Adesanya said.
“I do this s*** for real, and I do it against the best. Crazy week. I showed up to work, a lot of people didn’t. It’s out of their hands, you know, sometimes it’s not in their control.
“But, hey, Player 1 has the controller, so I showed up. Anderson, thank you. You’ve been doing this for a long time my friend, I appreciate you.”
This was supposed to be a number one contender’s bout, with the winner to face the winner of Robert Whittaker v Kelvin Gastelum; but Whittaker pulled out injured late last night and Gastelum paraded around the ring all day claiming to be the new champion.
“Rob, heal up quick. Kelvin, put that belt down, seriously,” Adesanya said.
“Whatever happens next, shut your f***ing mouth. Whatcha gonna do, when I run wild on you?”
— GIF Skull – #UFC234 Stylebender Fan Account (@GIFSkull) February 10, 2019
Adesanya opened up the bout with a lot of feints as Silva waited. Silva pressed forward aggressively, but was countered and stunned with a head kick from Adesanya.
Silva slowed down his aggression, and Adesanya went back to his feints. Silva landed a spinning kick to the leg of his opponent, but Adesanya landed the better of the strikes in the opening round.
Silva completely dropped his hands in the second act, allowing Adesanya to punch him in the face without consequence.
Silva came alive and landed a flurry of punches before Adesanya dashed out of harms way. Another spinning kick to the leg landed for Silva as he had a much better round than the previous.
A lot of people didn’t expect for this matchup to make it to the third round, but it did.
Adesanya landed a heavy leg kick and then just got out of the way of a flying knee.
Silva backed himself up to the fence and demanded that Adesanya fight him there.
After a bit of a standoff, Adesanya backed all the way off and the fight returned to the center of the Octagon. Adesanya landed quite a few more punches before time expired.