The betting odd prior to UFC 234 forecasted a blowout win for Adesanya (16-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) who at times was listed as a more than 6-1 favorite over Silva (34-9 MMA, 17-5 UFC). The former longtime UFC champ showed he’s not to be underestimated, though, giving a competitive fight over three rounds before losing a unanimous decision.
Adesanya has been watching and following Silva since he came into the sport and said competing against one of his role models was like being in the “twilight zone,” and after going 15 minutes in the octagon, he said there’s no doubt the Brazilian could hang with other top middleweights just as well.
“Definitely our styles are different,” Adesanya told reporters, including MMAjunkie, post-fight at UFC 234. The way he attacked me was different from how I would attack someone else. He was good. He’s still got it, he’s still with it. He’s still got it. Make no mistake.”
UFC 234 took place at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. The main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass.
Although Adesanya vs. Silva was pegged a title eliminator prior to UFC 234 and all he chaos that happened with 185-pound champ Robert Whittaker (20-4 MMA, 11-2 UFC) withdrawing from his fight against Kelvin Gastelum (16-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) on fight day, there was always speculation Silva could be fighting for the last time.
Adesanya had said that he wanted to take Silva “out the game” and felt he would be his final foe, but all signs point to that not being the case. Adesanya is glad, because he said he’s had a change of heart, anyway.
Silva has been pleading for a spot on May’s UFC 237 card in Brazil, and Adesanya thinks that’s a good fit for the legend.
“Many fighters have said it before, ‘Oh, I’m done with this,’” Adesanya said. “Then they come back. He wants to have one more fight in Curitiba and I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s cool.’ He gets to have one more fight and I get to be a fan and watch that.”