Adesanya earns hard-fought UD win over hero Silva at UFC 234

Credit Dave Mandel Sherdog

Credit Dave Mandel Sherdog

The highly anticipated No. 1 contender match between rising New Zealand star Israel Adesanya (15-0) and Brazilian veteran Anderson Silva (34-8) will now serve as the main event on the Rod Laver Arena card.

Gastelum, a former victor of The Ultimate Fighter, conducted interviews after the news with a title belt.

Heading into the fight, Adesanya was an overwhelming favorite but he found out quickly in the opening round that the 43-year old Silva still had some fight left in him. The topics of Conor McGregor and Anderson Silva's next fights seem to be looming for the company's public face. Adesanya has won five consecutive fights in the Octagon, tying him for the second-longest active winning streak in the middleweight division. The two athletes showed off an array of creative striking exchanges and ultimately the better of those went to the younger Adesanya.

Still, Adesanya never allowed himself to eat too much damage before resetting in the center of the cage where he was constantly the aggressor. Silva winced during one of those thudding kicks, which let Adesanya know he was getting the job done.

Two judges scored the fight 30-27 to Adesanya and the third had it 29-28. "This is it for me", Adesanya said. I'm not going home empty-handed. "Player one has the controller and I showed up". In a devastating, fight-day twist, however, Whittaker was forced out of this battle with a hernia, and rushed into surgery on the very evening he was supposed to compete.

Last night's UFC 234 fight card suffered the loss of its main event in the hours leading up to the PPV.

Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was removed from the UFC 234 main event and rushed into surgery on Saturday after being diagnosed with an internal hernia and a collapsed bowel.

"Rob heal up quick, Kelvin put that belt down, seriously", Adesanya said with a laugh from the crowd. The UFC boss said Whittaker is expected to be out four to six weeks, though that is not necessarily an exact timetable. Unfortunately, because Romero missed weight for the fight, Whittaker's decision victory did not technically register as a title defense.

"I love my job", Silva said following the fight.

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