Dazzling Israel Adesanya Decisions Anderson Silva in Makeshift UFC 234 Main Event

By: Mike Sloan
Feb 9, 2019

One of the hottest young fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Israel Adesanya, took on and defeated his idol.

“The Last Stylebender” was brilliant against all-time great Anderson Silva in the replacement headline bout of UFC 234 Saturday night, out-striking Silva for three rounds. Adesanya (16-0) hurt “The Spider” with a short right to the jaw in the first, but he was unable to inflict enough follow-up punishment to put the Brazilian away.

Silva (34-9) rallied in the second by landing several combos of punches to the head, but the Nigerian regained control of the middleweight encounter with superb striking in the third. Adesanya peppered Silva’s right leg throughout the stanza, cracked him with scattered punches upstairs and nullified the 43-year-old’s attacks down the stretch.

In the end, Adesanya won the fight via unanimous decision with scores of 30-27 (twice) and 29-28. Silva, the greatest middleweight champion in the history of MMA, hinted at fighting at least one more time.

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Vannata Taps Mariano

It’s been two-and-a-half years since lightweight Lando Vannata nabbed a win, but he finally got one Saturday night. “Groovy” was nearly perfect against Brazilian striker Marcos Mariano (6-5) and dominated him before scoring a submission with five seconds left in the first of the replacement co-main event of UFC 234.

Vannata (10-3-2) peppered “Dhalsim” with leg kicks before scoring a powerful takedown from the clinch. From there, the Albuquerque-based fighter dished out powerful ground-and-pound before locking in a textbook kimura from mount, forcing the tap.

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Simon Sweeps Yahya on Cards

Surging bantamweight contender Ricky Simon had the fight of his career in dominating longtime veteran Rani Yahya over three rounds.

The Washington-based fighter landed several hard punches and kicks in the first round, one of which rocked Yahya severely. But the real factor in the contest was that Simon (15-1) prevented 10 takedowns and kept the Brazilian off balance throughout. Yahya (26-10) was never able to find a rhythm and couldn’t keep the American on the canvas for an extended period of time. Simon won a lopsided unanimous decision via tallies of 30-27 (twice) and 30-25).

De La Rosa Schools Kassem

Flyweight contender Montana De La Rosa looked like an All-Pro against young fighter Nadia Kassem en route to a second-round submission win.

De La Rosa (10-4) opened the bout with a flurry of punches and took the Aussie down, dominating all of the first. The Texan scored an immediate takedown as soon as the second began and quickly moved to mount. From there, she switched back and forth between triangle chokes and armbars before finally forcing Kassem (5-1) to bow out from an armbar.

The end came officially when “187” tapped at the 2:37 mark.

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Crute Clips, Finishes Alvey

Local light heavyweight Jimmy Crute made quick work of Sam Alvey when he blasted him with a right to the jaw and follow-up punches.

“Smilin” Sam was in the process of throwing a left when “The Brute” dropped him with a short right to the jaw. Alvey (33-12) climbed back to his feet but once he stumbled down again, the Aussie pounced and swarmed him with punches. Referee Marc Goddard felt that Alvey, who wasn’t taking many clean punches, had had enough and stopped it, much to Alvey’s dismay. The end came at 2:49 of the first, allowing Crute to rise to 10-0.

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