A torch may not have been passed last night (Sat., Feb. 9, 2019) at UFC 234 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, as Israel Adesanya failed to finish Anderson Silva, but “Last Stylebender” still edged out the all-time legend for a main event decision win.
Adesanya and Silva both traded shots in the first round, but “Last Stylebender’s” timing and distance control allowed him to pull out in front on the heels of a right hand that buckled the Brazilian. In Round 2, Silva was able to turn the tides a bit. After allowing Adesanya to hit him with a crisp combo only to show he still has his rubber chin, Silva landed a furry of punches that put Adesanya on his heels. With momentum shifting, Silva began to taunt the young middleweight and gain the backing of the Aussie crowd.
Despite his mid-fight efforts, though, Silva wasn’t able to maintain his stronghold entering the third. Adesanya was able to dictate the pace of the action as “Spider” did most of his bidding with his back along the cage. Adesanya wasn’t as quick to engage as he was in the beginning of the fight, but still pulled ahead with late combinations on the feet.
In the end, Adesanya came away with the unanimous decision win.
With this performance, Adesanya locks down his fifth-straight UFC win and extends his unbeaten professional record to 16-0. The surging middleweight would have liked to finish Silva tonight in Melbourne, especially considering he was battling for a potential title shot, but a victory over the G.O.A.T. is still a major feather in Adesanya’s cap.
We’ll see where “Last Stylebender” goes from here with current UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker nursing a serious hernia injury.