Pros react to Israel Adesanya defeating Anderson Silva at UFC 234

Israel Adesanya

"This is it for me", Adesanya said after the fight - after which he and Anderson Silva bowed down simultaneously in a showing of mutual respect - the younger pupil having rightfully earned his idol's respect. The expectation going into the fight was it should be relatively easy for someone like Adesanya to finish Silva, but that didn't happen.

Silva's performance in his first fight in two years was enough to impress even former two-division champion Conor McGregor, who took to Twitter to rave about Silva and intimate he'd be interested in fighting him.

Australian UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker wanted to go through with his scheduled title defence just five minutes before emergency surgery.

White would not speculate about whether an interim championship would be created and said that he projects Whittaker will be able to resume training in four weeks.

Silva eventually started charging forward more and more as time ticked away on the clock and that's when he managed to tag Adesanya with some stiff shots of his own.

The judges have scored the three-round middleweight fight 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 in favour of the man known as "The Last Style Bender".

Adesanya battered the legs of Silva as he landed 29 of 31 strikes down low.

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While Silva has been in numerous high-profile bouts over the course of his illustrious career, it was some added pressure for Adesanya, who has been tabbed as one the promotion's rising stars. Adesanya sidestepped the blow, however, and went back to work.

"This is like if I played basketball and I played Michael Jordan", Adesanya said in tribute to Silva following the bout. "I showed up, traveled thousands and thousands of miles from home, made the weight".

"You know the answer to that".

"But, hey, Player one has the controller, so I showed up".

But despite Gastelum's claims to the belt, UFC president Dana White told reporters that because of the relatively short recovery time needed following Whittaker's operation, the Australian would not be stripped of his world title.

Meanwhile, Silva embraced the crowd following his hard fought loss and stated once again that he's not going anywhere except back to the gym to prepare for his next fight. "This is my heart. Hopefully, I'll fight in Curitiba".

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