In the TUF 27 Finale main event we saw relative newcomer Israel Adesanya and Brad Tavares face off, and Adesanya proved he belonged in the top ten.
In the first main event of his career, we saw Israel Adesanya take on tenth-ranked middleweight Brad Tavares. Adesanya was looking to leapfrog the Hawaiian. The hyped prospect was undefeated and had won his first two fights in the UFC against Rob Wilkinson and Marvin Vettori.
Round one had Tavares pushing the pace and attempting to get the clinch against Adesanya. However he couldn’t ever truly get a hold of him, and Adesanya was landing many fast and hard kicks at will. The round ended the only way it possibly could, with Adesanya rolling for a heel hook. Adesanya showed great range in the first round.
The beginning of the fight seemed to absolutely show and make apparent that Israel Adesanya belongs in the Octagon. Tavares does many things well but he appeared out-gunned against the former kickboxer Adesanya. Adesanya was warned by Herb Dean for his fingers being out but that didn’t slow him down whatsoever in the second round. He still threw everything at him.
Round three was just brutal for Tavares as Adesanya overwhelmed him and kept moving forward. Looking like the terminator at the start of the fourth, Tavares finally found some success with a takedown and landed some ground and pound. However, Adesanya used a kimura to get out of that position and get back to his feet where he kept piecing Tavares up, as the latter had trouble seeing the punches coming with a cut over his eye.
Tavares throughout the entire fight had trouble getting anything going, and he was forced to play Israel’s game as he couldn’t get him down, and so he ultimately came up short. Adesanya absolutely proved he belonged as a top-tier fighter at 185 pounds and will be fun to see where the 28-year-old prospect goes from here.
Israel Adesanya def. Brad Tavares by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)