UFC 234: Adesanya Beats a Defiant Silva
Many expected the worst, but Anderson Silva had other ideas in Australia at UFC 234.
The old champion spat out defiance and set his own problems for Israel Adesanya to solve. Silva ultimately, predictably lost, but only after 3 highly entertaining rounds, but proved he is not quite ready for retirement.
Silva was largely expected to be wiped out, Adesanya, the latest prospect to be tagged the next big thing, wasn’t expected to be tested, the old-school passing of the torch type of fight. Silva absorbed plenty, more than we thought he would, and landed enough to make it interesting, even taking the 2nd round on my card.
Adesanya got the decision by scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 and the hype goes on. We have been here before with the UFC’s never-ending pursuit of their next superstar, often it ends in more hope than actual substance. The jury is still out on Adesanya, he got the win but not in the manner we expected. Is that down to Silva performing above expectations, or Adesanya performing below them, a little of the two for me.
Long-term it will do Adesanya the world of good, the sort of fight where he found he was good, but will need to get better. Silva came in ranked the number 15 best middleweight in the UFC, and he is now 43, much tougher opponents lie in wait.
Robert Whittaker pulling out of the original main event will in hindsight be a blessing. Adesanya would likely now be looking at a title shot if Whittaker had fought Kelvin Gastelum, but he will probably now have to take another fight before his date with destiny.
Adesanya certainly has all the potential in the world, but the probable wait for the title fight will serve him well.
For Silva, he talks of fighting on, but this performance would be a good way to leave the sport. He didn’t win, but he got a redemption of sorts, next time he might not get that. The longer he goes on, what we expected on Saturday will inevitably happen.
Adesanya improves to 16-0, Silva drops to 34-9 with 1 no contest.