Undefeated middleweight Israel Adesanya stepped into the main event spotlight and
claimed the biggest victory of his mixed martial arts career with a unanimous decision victory over Anderson Silva at UFC 234.
Nigeria-born Kiwi Adesanya and Brazilian legend Silva were originally scheduled to face off in the night’s co-main event contest in Melbourne.
They werehowever promoted to the main event of the
show after Australian UFC middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker withdrew from his fight.
Whittaker later was taken to hospital and had emergency surgery on what UFC officials described as a severe abdominal injury.
The surgery then forced the cancellation of Whittaker’s
scheduled world title defence against American Kelvin Gastelum.
Undefeated former kickboxing star Adesanya’s fight against 43-year-old former middleweight champion Silva, who was returning from a two-year break, which included a one-year doping ban, had already been billed as a world title eliminator.
And the pair delivered a thrilling contest at the Rod Laver Arena as they showcased their
spectacular martial arts striking techniques.
After three rounds of gripping action, Adesanya was unanimously declared the victor with scores of 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27; taking his career record to 16-0.
After the bout, Adesanya revealed that it was a surreal experience sharing the octagon with one of his idols.
Following his defeat to the Nigerian warlord, Silva hinted that he may fight one more time in the octagon, if he can get himself onto the fight card for UFC 237 in his home town of Curitiba, Brazil, in May.