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UFC 234: Israel Adesanya defeats UFC legend Anderson Silva

UFC 234: Israel Adesanya defeats UFC legend Anderson Silva

But in the case of Israel Adesanya squaring up with his idol, legendary MMA fighter Anderson Silva, the spike of attention ended up benefitting him the most.

The blazing hands and the remarkable reflexes that led Anderson Silva to become the greatest fighter in the world at his peak are long gone. It's one of those situations, had it popped up during the fight it could have been fatal for him so this is really serious. Adesanya sidestepped the blow, however, and went back to work.

Still, Adesanya never allowed himself to eat too much damage before resetting in the center of the cage where he was constantly the aggressor.

Originally billed as the co-main event, the Adesanya-Silva showdown was elevated to main event status, and it didn't disappoint.

Silva enjoyed some success in a more competitive second round, nailing the younger man with some punches. Adesanya, 29, also made weight at 186 pounds. "I was saying [Friday], any oddsmakers that makes Anderson Silva 7-to-1 [underdog] is out of their mind". Adesanya had the faster hands and was consistently getting home, though he wasn't punching in combination. "Player one has the controller and I showed up".

Whittaker was hospitalized with a stomach hernia that required immediate surgery, forcing the UFC to scrap their scheduled world title main event between the Australian and Gastelum in Melbourne.

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UFC boss Dana White, who was sitting front-row next to Damon and Hemsworth, later revealed how the Hollywood stars reacted during the brilliant fight.

Australia's UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker withdrew from his championship defence against Kelvin Gastelum on Sunday at UFC 234 because of an abdominal injury and subsequent emergency surgery.

"Rob heal up quick, Kelvin put that belt down, seriously", Adesanya said with a laugh from the crowd.

As for what comes next, it's almost impossible to say after Whittaker was forced into surgery that may keep him sidelined for several weeks or perhaps even months. And although the Brazilian fought back with a couple of punches to Adesanya's chin, the Kiwi won the first round.

"I love my job", Silva said following the fight. "This is my heart".