Israel Adesanya defeats Anderson Silva in UFC 234 main event

UFC 234 was emotional, with much on the line, and the Australian middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker forced off the card and into emergency surgery the atmosphere was tense.

It was billed as the biggest night in Australian MMA history, and in a lot of ways it still lived up to that, but ultimately Australian fans will have to wait to see their champion defend his belt on home soil.

Instead, New Zealand’s Israel Adesanya fought Anderson Silva in the main event, which did not disappoint.

Israel Adesanya defeats Anderson Silva – Unanimaous Decision

This was a quintessential Anderson Silva fight, it was a quintessential Israel Adesanya fight, a striking masterclass between perhaps the two best strikers in the UFC. It was tasked with replacing the UFC middleweight championship, a heavy burden, but it didn’t seem to deter fans who despite being offered a full refund, sold out the Rod Laver Arena.

The beginning of the first round was a feeling out process and a lot of respect was shown between the fighters, maybe more from Adesanya’s side. Both fighters threw combinations, wild kicks mixed with slips and weaves. When Silva leaned back from an Adesanya high kick the arena erupted, it was clear that time hadn’t done much to diminish Silva’s skill. Although, landing a few more significant punches Adesanya edged out the first.

In the second-round Anderson seemed to find his groove, taunting and showboating like he was known for back in his title reign. Adesanya had a harder time hitting Silva as he feinted and dodged kicks and punches, and it was by far the closest round of the fight. The stadium was in complete awe going into the third with ‘Silva” and “Izzy” chants echoing one after other. Both fighters made it to the end of the third with Adesanya picking up a close but deserved decision victory.

Lando Vannata defeats Marcos Mariano – Kimura Submission in RD 1 (4:55)

A brief exchange at the beginning ends in a takedown by Lando Vanata, Marcos Mariano is able to keep him at bay with his long limbs but still takes strikes from the top. As Mariano defends the ground and pound Vanata manages to catch an arm of Mariano, which he quickly turns into a kimura, finishing the fight seconds before the end of the first round

Ricky Simon Defeats Rani Yahya – Unanimous Decision

Both fighters came out aggressive with Rani Yahya getting some early success on the feet, before being flawed by a counter left hook by Ricky Simon. Still, Yahya managed to make it through the adversity on the backfoot for the rest of the round.

Yahya wasn’t able to keep up with the striking and unable to convince Simon to take the fight to the ground, in the end, Simon took a dominant decision victory.

Montana De La Rosa defeats Nadia Kassem – Armbar Submission in RD 2 (2:37)

Montana De La Rosa, got Nadia Kassem down early and with relative ease, from there Kassem fought against submission attempts for the rest of the round. The second round went much the same with Kassem showing a lot of heart to keep from tapping to a nasty armbar. De La Rosa transitioned to a tight triangle and back to the armbar, where Kassem was forced to tap.

Jimmy Crute defeats Sam Alvey – TKO in RD 1 (2:49)

Jimmy Crute came out more relaxed than in his previous bout, and it showed in his movement against the veteran Sam Alvey who looked a little stiffer. Crute got the better of the exchanges and knocked Alvey down with a right hook that he thought ended the fight, unfortunately, referee Mike Goddard wasn’t convinced and the fight continued. Crute continued the onslaught and soon the fight was called, to some protests from a visibly rocked Alvey.

Jim Crute TKO’s Sam Alvey in first-round at UFC 234 in Melbourne

Bangkok, Thailand based freelance journalist, I grew up in Brisbane hitting pads and getting choked out, when I’m not watching fights, I’m researching fights, writing about fights and pretending I can fight.