Israel Adesanya Out Strikes Anderson Silva in Impromptu UFC 234 Main Event

Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya has beaten UFC legend Anderson Silva.

The win takes Nigerian-New Zealander a step closer to a potential trans-Tasman UFC middleweight title showdown with Australian Robert Whittaker, and sees the ethereal fighter take his professional record to 16-0.

The non-title middleweight bout headlined UFC 234 after defending middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was pulled from a title defense against Kelvin Gastelum on short notice due to an abdominal hernia.

"Maybe I think it makes sense to fight [Nick] Diaz in Curitiba", Silva said.

Adesanya's victory capped off a memorable day for New Zealand with his City Kickboxing teammates from Auckland Kai Kara-France and Shane Young also scoring victories against Brazil's Raulian Paiva and America's Austin Arnett in the flyweight and featherweight divisions respectively. Subscribe to my podcast State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon. "I showed up to work".

The Australian crowd booed loudly at Adesanya's words towards the champion but he ultimately sent well wishes to Whittaker in his post fight speech.

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

A flashy encounter that saw arguably one of the combat world's greatest strikers wind back the clock to do battle with his protege, ended in emotional scenes as Adesanya dispatched his idol in a unanimous decision victory at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday. I don't care. Kelvin or Rob, whoever it is I don't care.

Adesanya was expected to earn a title shot with a win at UFC 234 but now that may be put on hold with Gastelum still expected to get the next crack at Whittaker once he's healthy again.

As for what comes next, it's almost impossible to say after Whittaker was forced into surgery that may keep him sidelined for several weeks or perhaps even months. And although the Brazilian fought back with a couple of punches to Adesanya's chin, the Kiwi won the first round.

'I turned up to fight, ' he said, declaring he was the champion as Whitaker had effectively forfeited the fight. This is my life. "I'm the guy fighting for the belt".

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