WINDHOEK, FEB 12 – The main event of UFC 234 saw the ‘passing of the guard’ as Israel ‘Style Bender’ Adesanya defeated the living legend that is Anderson ‘Spider Man’ Silva via unanimous decision at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australian on Sunday.
At 43 years of age Silva put up a competent display over the three rounds and at times looked the ‘Spider Man’ of old, but the quick striking and elusiveness of Adesanya proved to much for the soon to be UFC hall of famer.
Nonetheless, it was a highly entertaining fight with Adesanya underlying his rising dominance in the Middleweight division as his fight record goes to 16-0.
On paper the ‘Style Bender’ landed double the number of significant blows and was given all three rounds by two judges while one judge gave a single round to Silva.
Speaking after the fight Adesanya was full of praise for a fighter he watched growing up and tried to emulate.
“This is like, for a kid, if I played basketball against Michael Jordan,” said the 29-year-old. “This is it for me. I do it against the best. Anderson, thank you. You’ve been doing this for a long time my friend, I appreciate you.”
The original main event was supposed to be the Middleweight title fight between champion Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum, but in shocking news just hours before the event the former was pulled from UFC 234.
Unfortunately, Whittaker had to have emergency surgery on Sunday morning local time in Melbourne after dealing with a hernia overnight. His jiu-jitsu coach Alex Prates, though, admits that the Champion still wanted to fight.
“He had abdominal pain and was finally taken to the hospital by the UFC at 1:00am and was trying everything to remain in the fight, refusing any treatment that would force him out of the fight,” said. “He underwent emergency surgery at 4:30am due to a hernia that could affect his intestine.”
The main card certainly kicked off in style with Australia’s Jim Crute finishing Sam Alvey in round one after significant strikes saw referee Marc Goddard stop the fight in what many thought was an early stoppage.
That was followed by a remarkable showing from Montana De La Rosa in her Women’s Flyweight contest against Nadia Kassem, creating history in that UFC division becoming the first fighter to record three stoppage wins.
The third fight of the main card was probably the fight of the night with Ricky Simon using his speed, power and impressive takedown defense to defeat Brazilian jiu-jitsu technician Rani Yahya by unanimous decision over three rounds.
Simon put on a silky slick performance, striking his opponent almost at will to win every single round and showing all in the Bantamweight division that he is the real deal.
The final fight before the main event saw Lando Vannata submit promotional newcomer Marcos Rosa with just five seconds remaining in the opening round.
Israel Adesanya defeated Anderson Silva via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
Lando Vannata defeated Marcos Rosa Mariano via submission (kimura) — R1, 4:55
Ricky Simon defeated Rani Yahya via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-25)
Montana De La Rosa defeated Nadia Kassem via submission (armbar) — R2, 2:37
Jim Crute defeated Sam Alvey via TKO (punches) — R1, 2:49
Devonte Smith defeated Dong Hyun Ma via TKO (punches) — R1, 3:53
Shane Young defeated Austin Arnett via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Kai Kara-France defeated Raulian Paiva via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
Kyung Ho Kang defeated Teruto Ishihara via submission (rear naked choke) — R1, 3:59
Jalin Turner defeated Callan Potter via KO (punches) — Round 1, 0:53
Jonathan Martinez defeated Wuliji Buren via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28) – Multichoice Namibia