UFC 234 Results: Adesanya and Silva deliver an instant classic stand-up battle in the main event at UFC 234
What's the story?
Top Middleweight contender Israel Adesanya faced the former champion and UFC legend Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 234 held at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. 'Stylebender' and 'Spider' squared off and delivered a highly technical and entertaining stand-up battle, where Adesanya edged Silva to win a unanimous decision victory.
In case you didn't know
Israel Adesanya vs Anderson Silva was initially slated to be the co-main event at UFC 234, a card which was originally set to be headlined by a Middleweight title fight between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum. However, Whittaker was forced to withdraw from the fight hours before the event due to a hernia for which the Champion underwent surgery today.
You can read more about Whittaker's forced withdrawal and medical condition here. With Robert Whittaker being unable to compete in his main event title fight, the UFC was forced to cancel the fight and promote the fight between Adesanya and Silva to the main event slot.
The heart of the matter
Israel Adesanya vs Anderson Silva was highly hyped up to be a fight between two of the best strikers to ever compete in the UFC. The contest fully lived up to the hype as the two strikers delivered an epic showdown of skill and technique for 3 rounds.Adesanya clearly edged Silva and put his elite kickboxing skills on full display to get the unanimous decision victory (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Anderson Silva returned to competition after a hiatus of 2 years and was greeted with deafening cheers at the Rod Laver Arena. Adesanya was also in full flow with his showboating skills in his walkout and introduction and he briefly performed the traditional Wai Khru, something rarely seen inside the UFC Octagon.
Stylebender and Silva met in the centre of the octagon and traded a variety of technical strikes for 3 rounds. In a fight filled with traditional Muay Thai and striking, clinch work and high level unorthodox striking, Silva and Adesanya delivered an instant classic and left the crowd on their feet with edge of the seat action across 15 minutes.
Stylebender got the better of Silva as he landed a high volume of strikes on the legend in the 1st and the 3rd round. Adesanya was particularly on point with his leg kicks and long punches which kept staggering Silva throughout. 'The Spider' rallied on to deliver some effective striking in the 2nd round but Stylebender turned on the switch in the 3rd round to leave no doubt in anyone's mind.
The fight ended in mutual respect and embrace as Israel Adesanya bowed down to his idol and Silva acknowledged the skill of his rival in a moment forever to be remembered by martial arts fans throughout the world.
With a win in a marquee main event such as UFC 234, a title fight seems all but done for Israel Adesanya in his next fight. With Robert Whittaker sidelined for potentially a long time, it's safe to assume that an interim title fight between Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum should be next in line.