Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the hurt business last night (Sat., Feb. 9, 2019) by staging UFC 234: “Silva vs Adesanya,” live from inside Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. In the headlining act, Anderson Silva tried to turn back the hands of time, and though he looked fairly well throughout the fight, he didn’t have enough offensive output to take down Israel Adesanya (see it again here). In the co-headlining act, Lando Vannata got back in the win column by defeating Marcos Rosa Mariano via first round submission.
Biggest Winner: Israel Adesanya
Though it wasn’t the dominant, one-sided win that many expected, “The Last Stylebender” did enough to edge out “The Spider” on the judges scorecards in what turned out to be a very entertaining fight. Unfortunately, because of the late notice it was unable to a be a five-round main event, but boy would it have been fun.
Many may point to Israel’s inability to fully take it to the aging legend to score a finish, but that shouldn't count against him, as he got the win against a man who wasn’t about to lay down for anyone. With the victory, Adesanya moves to 16-0, 5-0 UFC and will more than likely set himself up for a title shot. Though it won’t be for a bit since division king Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum will have to run it after their fight was scratched last-minute. That said, we have to give credit where credit is due, as well, as Silva came out determined to not get outclassed by the man many consider the younger version of himself. Though he didn’t get back in the win column, Silva can hold his head high — he hung in with the much younger striker and more than likely secured himself his fight at UFC 237 in his home country of Brazil.
Runner Up: Lando Vannata
“Groovy” picked up a much-needed win after submitting Mariano with only five seconds remaining in the fight. The victory is Vannata’s first since 2016, and just his second inside the Octagon in seven tries. Amazingly, two of those bouts ending in draws.
Now, Vannata can breath easy knowing he gets a fresh start in what what his first fight on his new four-fight deal. Vannata has the skills and excitement factor, so if he can just put it all together two reel off some impressive consecutive wins, he could do big things moving forward.
Biggest Loser: Teruto Ishihara
Yes, the fact that some of you had to google him (whether you admit it or not) goes to show you the lack of star-power at this event. Nevertheless, Teruto suffered his third straight defeat at the hands of Kyun Ho Kang. That makes it five losses in his last six trips to the UFC cage, which doesn’t bode well for him when it comes to thinning the herd. The fact that he doesn’t carry the biggest name on the roster, he won’t be granted chances like Alistair Overeem or other high-profile fighters who have been able to hang on to a spot on the roster after bad losing streaks.
For complete UFC 234: “Silva vs. Adesanya” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.