Adesanya stakes his claim after beating Silva at UFC 234

Adesanya stakes his claim after beating Silva at UFC 234

While Adesanya prevailed in what was billed as a No. 1 contender fight, it's unclear how the division will play out after champion Robert Whittaker withdrew from his title defense versus Kelvin Gastelum due to injury.

The three judges scored the fight 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 and it was deemed the Fight of the Night, with both men earning a US$50,000 bonus. Gastelum, of California, is riding a two-fight win streak, including a split-decision victory over Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza.

The blazing hands and the remarkable reflexes that led Anderson Silva to become the greatest fighter in the world at his peak are long gone.

Robert Whittaker has not fought since June of 2018, when he engaged in his second five-round war with the behemoth Yoel Romero.

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

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A non-title middleweight bout between rising star Israel Adesanya (15-0) and Anderson Silva (34-8) will now headline UFC 234, which sold out in minutes when tickets first went on sale. During the fight itself, Anderson Silva threw all of the devilish tricks he is renowned for, into the pot, but in the end, Israel Adesanya proved himself to be quite the student of the fight game, and quite befitting of his nickname: The Last Stylebender. "It's one of those situations where if it had popped out during the fight it could have been fatal for him". The two athletes showed off an array of creative striking exchanges and ultimately the better of those went to the younger Adesanya.

Whittaker is a Sydney, Australia native and was a massive favorite in his home country.

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.

Meanwhile, Silva embraced the crowd following his hard fought loss and stated once again that he's not going anywhere except back to the gym to prepare for his next fight.

It continued a awful run of bad luck and health issues for 28-year-old Whittaker since he won the interim title in 2017. "This is my heart. I continue to fight because this is my heart". His family was fighting with him because he didn't want to go to the hospital.

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