Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva had the unenviable task of stepping into the main event spotlight on a day’s notice after Robert Whittaker was forced to withdraw from UFC 234 due to an emergency medical issue this past weekend.
Neither man was fazed by the added pressure and they ended up putting on a show the fans in Melbourne, Australia and those watching on pay-per-view ate up. The pair earned a Fight of the Night bonus for the rousing three-round bout and the UFC released its signature Fight Motion montage video for fans to relive the Matrix-like action in super slow-motion.
A former kickboxing champion billed by some as a younger and slicker version of the former middleweight champion, at least in terms of striking style, Adesanya (16-0) earned a unanimous decision after three entertaining rounds.
Adesanya and Silva combined to throw 207 strikes in the 15-minute contest, which amounted to roughly one strike attempt every 4 1/2 seconds. It was Adesanya, 14 years younger than the 43-year-old Silva, who landed more than twice the number of significant strikes that Silva connected on.
There was nary a takedown attempt from either fighter.