Two of the best strikers in the sport showed off their skillset as Israel Adesanya took a unanimous decision victory from Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 234.
Israel Adesanya, simply put, is the future. The former kickboxing standout comes into the main event of UFC 234 with four UFC victories under his belt. He’s earned a Performance of the Night bonus in three of his four fights in the Octagon, showcasing incomparable striking. The Nigerian-born New Zealander put on a clinic in a main event against Brad Tavares, then followed up by dismantling Derek Brunson in the first round.
Anderson Silva is simply one of the greatest of all time. He had a UFC record 16 straight wins which included 10 defenses of his middleweight title, a record that stood until Demetrious Johnson’s domination of the flyweight division. However, his controversial decision win against Derek Brunson in his last fight back in February 2017 is his only win in his last five fights.
The fight started cautiously, as expected, with Adesanya taking the center of the Octagon and landing a few leg kicks. Silva threw and landed his first leg kick a little over a minute in. Adesanya landed the first significant strike with a beautiful one-two followed by a right that wobbled Silva. Silva was able to put together some offense with a left hand followed by a right. Adesanya came into his own as the round went on, taunting the former kingpin while landing another stiff one-two. Silva narrowly avoided a few head kicks, but the round was won by Adesanya, who was landing straight punches at will.
Anderson Silva was much more aggressive in the second round, landing a pair of combinations while chasing down Adesanya. Adesanya’s output was not nearly as aggressive in the second round, with Anderson establishing his counter-striking effectively and winning the round. The standoff between the two expert strikers was fascinating.
Anderson Silva went for it all in round three throwing a huge flying knee after sending Adesanya stumbling, but his opponent was able to narrowly avoid it. We saw classic Silva standing against the cage and beckoning Adesanya over to him, and Adesanya obliged, going strike-for-strike with the legend. Silva also put his hands down and let Adesanya land a combination. While Silva had his moments, the round was controlled by Adesanya. Both men threw flashy spinning attacks to close out a very entertaining main event.
Silva stated afterward he’d like to fight one more time in his home of Curitiba, Brazil.
Israel Adesanya def. Anderson Silva by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)