Rising middleweight star Israel ‘Style Bender’ Adesanya defeats legend Anderson Silva by unanimous decision in thrilling UFC 234 showdown
- Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva put on striking clinic but youngster beat legendary veteran in main event
- Lando Vannata pulled out kimura to submit Marcos Rosa Mariano in dying seconds of opening round
- Ricky Simon avoided Rani Yahya’s nasty jiu-jitsu game to win unanimous decision on the scorecards
- Montana De La Rosa dominated Nadia Kassam and handed her first lost with armbar finish in second round
- Jim Crute thrilled Australian fans with a first round TKO finish of Sam Alvey to kick off Melbourne main card
Peter Carroll For Mailonline
Anderson Silva proved that there is plenty of tricks let up his sleeve despite coming up short in the main event of UFC 234 against up-and-comer Israel Adesanya on Sunday morning in Melbourne, Australia.
‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya has been heralded as this generation’s version of the legendary champion, but he proved to be puzzled at times during his striking exchanges with the legendary ‘Spider’.
The original main event match-up pitting middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and challenger Kevlin Gastelum was pulled when Whittaker suffered a hernia at the eleventh hour, pushing a three-round No 1 contender decider between Adesanya and Silva into the spotlight.
Silva was caught with some crafty punches but managed to absorb everything the younger man threw his way
The wily old veteran had Adesanya troubled at points but never dropped ‘Style Bender’ over the three rounds
Adesanya’s volume proved to big the difference between the two as they unraveled their spectacular arsenals.
The duo matched each other’s flaunts of showmanship over the 15 minutes, and even though Adesanya scored with the cleaner strikes, Silva gave him plenty to think about as he bore down on him and attempted to land powerful punches on several occasions over the 15-minutes.
After improving to 16-0, Adesanya highlighted his great respect for the former champion before taking aim at Whittaker, which didn’t go down well with the current titleholder’s Australian fans.
Silva said afterwards that the only reason he continues to compete in the octagon is that he enjoys it so much
‘This is crazy,’ said Adesanya in his post-fight interview. ‘This is like for a kid, if I’m playing basketball, [it’s like] like playing [against] Michael Jordan. Player 1 had the controller. Anderson, thank you. Obrigado, my friend. You’ve been doing this for a long time. I appreciate you.’
‘Rob, heal up quick. Kelvin, put that belt down,’ he added.
Adesanya’s victory topped off a very successful night for New Zealand’s City Kickboxing Gym, with all three of Eugene Bareman’s fighters that competed—Adesanya, Shane Young and Kai Kara-France—claiming victories at the event.
Lando Vannata (top) overcame Marcos Mariano of Brazil in the first round of their co-main event
Vannata looked the far superior fighter as soon as he managed to take the fight to the ground early on
Landon Vannata revelled in being upgraded from the preliminary card to the co-main event as he claimed a dominant first-round submission win over Marcos Mariano.
‘Groovy’ landed some big-grounded shots from top position before latching onto a kimura in the final seconds of the opening stanza.
Earlier on the main card, bantamweight prospect Ricky Simon took home a big win over celebrated grappler and divisional stalwart Rani Yahya.
Ricky Simon (left) landed more significant strikes on Rani Yahya than the Brazilian managed to muster in their fight
The victorious Simon put on a show for the fans in Melbourne and avoided Yahya’s jiu-jitsu game on the ground
Simon showed good awareness throughout the contest as he refused to follow Yayha to the ground, even when he sent the Brazilian reeling with a big right-hand early on.
The trip to Australia proved to be worth it for America’s Montana De La Rosa who silenced the crowd with a submission over Nadia Kassem. The 23-year-old locked up an armbar at the midway point of the second to claim the victory.
Opening the main card, undefeated Australian Jim Crute got things started with a quick stoppage of veteran middleweight campaigner, Sam Alvey, to improve to 10-0-0.
Montana de la Rosa dominated Nadia Kassam (bottom), opening her up with punches before locking in the submission
Kassam found herself on the back foot and De La Montana outclassed her Australian opponent from the off
The Australian connected with some heavy punches and had ‘Smilin Sam’ reeling early in the first round
Alvey was furious with the stoppage and complained to Marc Goddard as he thought he was defending himself adequately