That MMA Show

UFC 234: Adesanya vs. Silva

UFC 234

Adesanya vs. Silva

            On Saturday, 2/2/19, the UFC flew its banner across Rod Laver Stadium in Melbourne, Australia for UFC 234. Atop the card, there were two very important Middleweight bouts. In the main event, Middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, was scheduled to defend his belt against surging middleweight contender, Kelvin Gastelum. In the co-main event, the soaring Middleweight Phenom known as Israel Adesanya was set to take on living legend, and former Middleweight king, Anderson Silva, for the right to challenge the champion next.  With two explosive match-ups organized into an unofficial Middleweight tournament, UFC 234 was bound to generate big waves within the MMA community. However, the biggest blow of the card came hours before the stadium doors even opened.

            On the evening before fight day, Robert Whittaker was complaining to his team about abdominal pains. Around 1 am the next morning, Robert Whittaker was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a hernia. Whittaker fought with medical professionals for hours, denying any treatment that would keep him out of his fight. However, Whittaker eventually submitted to an emergency surgery around 4:30 am after it was made clear to him that his condition could be life-threatening if left untreated. The news of Whittaker’s medical withdrawal broke to the public around 2:00 pm.

            Considering the fact that this fight would determine who would walk away with the belt and fight the winner of the co-main event, the card definitely lost a good deal of hype and mystique. However, not all was lost, for one of the fastest rising stars in the sport would be taking on one of history’s greatest in a style-matchup the sport had never seen before. Many fans and fighters actually felt as if the matchup between Adesanya and Silva was more exciting than the title bout in the first place. Therefore, this glorified #1 contender match was more than capable of bearing the weight of the card.

            Going into this fight, there was a general consensus that Anderson Silva would be at a disadvantage when he took on the young dynamo, Israel Adesanya. After all, fighting has long been deemed a “Young Man’s Sport”, and Anderson Silva had more than a decade on Adesanya. Therefore, Adesanya would most likely be quicker, sharper, and hungrier. Not to mention, Anderson Silva had visibly declined in the octagon with each performance following the end of his title reign. Nevertheless, Silva was still given the benefit of the doubt, for he was once one of the most dominant and awe-inspiring fighters the world had ever seen.

            The first round of the bout started at a slow pace. Israel Adesanya was busy with leg kicks and short hand combinations whereas Anderson was mainly shifting around the cage and analyzing as he’s been known to do initially. Silva eventually started blitzing Adesanya, but

Adesanya countered well, and hurt Anderson with a few good counters. In the second round of the fight, Anderson was much more active in his approach, throwing a lot of feints and attacking first. Adesanya remained busy, throwing hard leg kicks and straight punches. However, Silva was countering well with the right hand, and managed to put together several staggering hand combinations on Adesanya. In the final round of the fight, Adesanya came out putting in work with a lot of hand feints and big low kicks. Anderson’s biggest moments were a counter-punch off of a caught kick, and a display of his famous cage-baiting tactic that Adesanya refused to engage in. Otherwise, Anderson mainly remained defensive aside from a few jab-cross blitzes. Adesanya finished the fight pressuring Anderson and landing a few clean 1-2 combinations.

            When it was all said and done, Israel Adesanya was deemed the winner by unanimous decision. Nevertheless, one could conclude that there were no losers seeing as Anderson Silva held true to his legendary status and put on a very competitive performance against a rising star almost 15 years his junior. It was a beautiful display of top-level striking that had fans gripping their seats with every swing. Most importantly, this fight symbolized a “Passing of the torch” from one great martial artist to another still composing the early chapters of his legacy.  

            Now that the dust has settled, the UFC and Mick Maynard have a hefty task in deciding whom each artist will step into the octagon with next. The path for Adesanya would have been quite clear if it weren’t for Whittaker’s withdrawal. Since the champion wasn’t able to defend his belt against Gastelum, the UFC must decide whether Gastelum still gets the next shot, Adesanya skips him, or the two of them fight for the next shot. Israel Adesanya suggested that the UFC strip Whittaker, and let him fight Gastelum for the real belt. However, Dana White expects Whittaker to be healthy within weeks. Therefore, he’s deemed a stripping to be unnecessary at this time.

            As for Anderson, he’s since expressed an interest in fighting either Conor McGregor or Nick Diaz in his hometown of Curitiba, Brazil next. However, Dana White has continued to express his disapproval of a fight with the under-sized McGregor, and Nick Diaz has since expressed that he has no intention of fighting anyone. Therefore, the future of “The Spider” is very hazy. No matter what he does, fans will surely cherish what will most likely be the last few performances of his historic career.


Official Results

·      Israel Adesanya Def. Anderson Silva via DEC 5:00 into rd. 3

·      Lando Vannata Def. Marcos Rosa Mariano via SUB (Kimura) 4:55 into rd. 1

·      Ricky Simon Def. Rani Yahya via DEC 5:00 into rd. 3

·      Montana De La Rosa Def. Nadia Kassem via SUB (Armbar) 2:37 into rd. 2

·      Jim Crute Def. Sam Alvey via KO/TKO (Punches) 2:49 into rd. 1

·      Devonte Smith Def. Dong Hyun Ma via KO/TKO (Punches) 3:53 into rd. 1

·      Shane Young Def. Austin Arnett via DEC 5:00 into rd. 3

·      Kai Kara-France Def. Raulian Paiva via DEC 5:00 into Rd. 3

·      Kang Kyung-ho Def. Teruto Ishihara via SUB (Rear Naked Choke) 3:59 into rd. 1

·      Jalin Turner Def. Callan Potter via KO/TKO (Punches) 0:53 into rd. 1

·      Jonathan Martinez Def. Wuliji Buren via DEC 5:00 into rd. 3


Composed by: Alex Minor

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