Culture

Silva's UFC return ends in defeat to Adesanya after Whittaker withdrawal

Silva's UFC return ends in defeat to Adesanya after Whittaker withdrawal”

White refused to say whether Kelvin Gastelum will maintain his number one contender status, but confirmed that Whittaker won't be stripped of the 185-pound belt.

Mere hours before the start of UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia, the card was dealt a disastrous blow when ESPN's Brett Okamoto reported that middleweight champion, Australian Robert Whittaker was forced to withdraw from the card as a result of emergency hernia surgery.

The Kiwi middleweight sensation remains unbeaten in the octagon after defeating Silva in the main event of UFC 234 in Melbourne on Sunday.

Israel Adesanya lands a right hand strike on Anderson Silva during his unanimous decision victory.

As the punches and kicks continued to fly, Adesanya was just racking up far more significant strikes landed but Silva never went away and continued to throw counter shots until the final horn sounded.

The Kiwi star left Damon and Hemsworth in shock with his showing against the UFC legend. This is awesome. What a great round.

"It was like a kung fu movie". "It was a fun fight to watch, very fun, with two guys who are incredibly talented".

The 43-year-old Silva, who was fighting for the first time in two years, showed some flashy moves, but fired back little in return.

The three judges scored the fight 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 and it was deemed the Fight of the Night, with both men earning a US$50,000 bonus.

But a patient Adesanya, who like his opponent, also displayed some showboating, dominated the third, peppering the Brazilian's face with punches as the veteran sometimes held his hands low.

Matt Damon and Chris Hemsworth with their wives.

"Maybe I think it makes sense to fight [Nick] Diaz in Curitiba", Silva said.

Gastelum did offer another view of the cancelled fight via social media, leaving a post on Instagram in which he said "God has a reason for doing things and I firmly believe his plans are much bigger and better than I can even imagine".

Adesanya has been chasing a trans-Tasman fight with Whittaker and the Nigerian-born fighter was booed by the Australian crowd when he referenced Whittaker as "not turning up to work".

The victor was in line to be the next challenger to Whittaker.



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