UFC 234: Adesanya proves he’s the real deal, but must wait for title shot

Filling in for UFC 234's cancelled headliner, Israel Adesanya showed he has what it takes to top the billing, but he'll have to wait for his chance....


The middleweight clash at UFC 234 between Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva was pushed to the top of the fight card, and the two striking superstars stole the show with a thrilling matchup as Adesanya claimed a unanimous decision win.

At times, the action looked like something from a kung-fu video game as Adesanya and Silva took turns to attempt spectacular strikes in a memorable contest between the middleweight division’s rising star and the greatest 185lb champion in UFC history.

Get some notoriously great MMA odds at PaddyPower.com

Somewhat surprisingly, the bout went all the way to the scorecards, with Adesanya claiming the well-deserved decision with scores of 29-28, 30-27, 30-27.

And “The Last Stylebender” paid tribute to the octagon legend after the contest, saying facing Silva was the equivalent of playing basketball against the legendary Michael Jordan.

Silva, meanwhile, told reporters at the post-fight press conference he fancied one more fight at UFC 237, which takes place in his home town of Curitiba, Brazil on May 11.

“The Spider” said he’d love to face old foe Nick Diaz in a rematch, and Conor McGregor chipped in via Twitter, saying he’d take on Nick’s brother Nate to complete their trilogy as part of the same card.

As the old adage goes, “book it, and they will come”.


There was drama before a punch had even been thrown when news broke of a major issue affecting UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.

The Aussie woke up with huge abdominal pain and was rushed to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to repair an abdominal hernia.

It meant his main event world title bout with challenger Kelvin Gastelum was scrapped, with the UFC promoting the middleweight title eliminator between Adesanya and Silva to the main event of the evening.


Dana White spoke backstage during the fights to reveal more information about Whittaker’s injury, and suggested that had things presented themselves mid-fight, the Aussie could have been in serious medical danger.

“His bowel and his intestines poked through the hole,” said White.

“It’s one of those situations had it popped out during the fight, it could have been fatal for him.

“So this is really serious, we don’t know exactly what happened with the doctor. Hopefully they popped it back in and sewed it up and if that’s the case, he’ll be [out for] four weeks.”


An interesting story during fight night occurred in the prelims, when the man who lost out on his shot at the world title, Kelvin Gastelum, arrived backstage wearing a new UFC world championship belt and declared himself to be the new UFC middleweight champion.

But UFC president Dana White laughed off those claims in the post-fight presser, saying Whittaker would be back soon and would defend his title upon his return.

And White revealed that Gastelum’s belt wasn’t his at all.

“That was Cejudo’s belt that he’d borrowed,” he smiled.

“That was cute.”


It wouldn’t be a UFC event in Australia without someone enjoying a ‘Shoey’, and guest fighters Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Tai Tuivasa duly downed a couple of beers from the American’s cowboy boot as UFC light-heavyweight Tyson Pedro recorded the moment and the crowd at the Rod Laver Arena roared their support.

‘Cowboy’ may well have a reason for a cold beverage or two – a fight with Conor McGregor could be on the horizon, with Cerrone tweeting earlier in the week to suggest he could soon face the Irishman for an interim UFC lightweight title later this summer.

But with McGregor now angling for a fight against Nate Diaz in Curitiba, who knows what’s next?

Bet on the bout to knock the other guy out at PaddyPower.com

What do you think?