It wasn't the main event fans were expecting, but it's the one they got at UFC 234 Saturday night.
Originally slated for a main event title fight featuring Robert Whittaker defending his UFC Middleweight Title against Kelvin Gastelum, Whittaker was forced out of his headline bout. A hernia that required emergency surgery gave way for Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya to take the main slot, instead.
Silva vs. Adesanya was a dream fight of sorts. Calling back to the days of Silva saying he wishes he could fight himself, Adesanya was perhaps the closest thing to a clone. For three rounds the two taunted, threw strikes, played with one another and called each other out in a battle of skill and bravado in a crowd-pleasing affair.
Towards round three, Silva threw his hands down and ate a fair share of punches without selling them, refusing to pick up the pace as the sand slipped through the hourglass. In the end, Adesanya earned the unanimous decision victory over Silva. The two shared a moment of respect in the cage after the fight. Silva also stated that he would continue to fight.
Adesanya also called out Kelvin Gastelum, who was walking around with a copy of the UFC Championship after Whittaker withdrew.
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