After UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker was forced to pull out of UFC 234’s main event on Saturday, the high profile matchup between Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva took center stage. It was a matchup that saw the undefeated, up and coming Adesanya face off with one of the greats to ever grace the octagon, Anderson Silva.
Many expected Adesanya to impose his will against Silva, predicting that the younger fighter would be much too quick for the 43 year old Silva. This was not the case Saturday night, with each fighter having their moment. Silva and Adesanya traded shots in the first round, with the creative Adesanya landing 20 of 44 strikes in the opening round, as Silva threw 21, landing just 6. The second round was Anderson Silva’s best round, landing an efficient 57% of his strikes thrown, landing 20 of 35 strikes. After the second round looked like it could have went to either fighter, Adesanya came out in the third round and left no doubt, landing 25 strikes against Anderson’s six. The young Adesanya got the best of Silvs on the night, winning the contest by a unanimous decision, (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).
Significant Striking Stats :
- Adesanya: 65 of 132 for 49 percent landed.
- Silva: 31 of 72 for 43 percent landed.
In preliminary action, lightweight Devonte Smith (10-1-0) made easy work of Dong Hyun Ma (16-9-3), TKO-ing Ma in under two minutes into the fight. Smith is just 25 years old, and is one of the most dangerous young prospects in the lightweight division.
At bantamweight, Ricky Simon (15-1-0) outpointed veteran Rani Yahya, beating the Brazilian by unanimous decision after three rounds. The result represents the third consecutive UFC victory in a row for Simon, and the 7th in a row in all professional MMA promotions.
All Main Card Results
- Israel Adesanya def. Anderson Silva – unanimous decision
- Lando Vannata def. Marcos Mariano – sub (kimura) (R1, 4:55)
- Ricky Simon def. Rani Yahya – unanimous decision
- Montana De La Rosa def. Nadia Kassem – submission (armbar) (R2, 2:37)
- Jim Crute def. Sam Alvey – first-round TKO (2:49)