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UFC: Robert Whittaker 'could've died' if he fought Kelvin Gastelumn

12 February, 2019, 00:14 | Author: Tommie Newton
  • Israel Adesanya

A non-title middleweight bout between rising star Israel Adesanya (15-0) and Anderson Silva (34-8) will now headline UFC 234, which sold out in minutes when tickets first went on sale. No, it wasn't the man he defeated twice before.

"It was just like fighting anyone else, but there were certain things that he was doing that I have seen so many times, that he has caught other people with, like with his hands down, the bounce, calling me on to the cage with his back against the fence, but not me", Adesanya said.

Entering the fight, fans and pundits alike considered Adesanya to be a better version of Silva due to some similarities in their fighting style.

"They were still trying to give me positive reinforcements until they said 'Rob, you need to go to hospital, you're throwing up all your rehydration'".

The respect Adesanya had for Silva was evident from the moment the fight began.

Whittaker is expected to be out of action for around four to six weeks as he recovers from his surgery and although there's no fight plan now in place, White has ruled out the possibility of him being stripped of his belt.

In an evenly matched fight over the first two rounds, Adesayna landed the first blow - an outside kick to Silva's leg - then followed it up with a kick to his opponent's right thigh, but Silva fought back with two shots to Adesayna's chin.

There are a total of five fights on the main card.

If I'm playing basketball, to play against Michael Jordan.

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Still, Adesanya never allowed himself to eat too much damage before resetting in the center of the cage where he was constantly the aggressor.

Two judges scored the fight 30-27 to Adesanya and the third had it 29-28.

"I showed up, travelled thousands and thousands of miles away from home, made the weight..."

The Australian champion is expected to return from injury later this spring.

'I turned up to fight, ' he said, declaring he was the champion as Whittaker had effectively forfeited the fight.

In a later statement, UFC said Whittaker had undergone emergency surgery due to a "severe abdominal injury".

Gastelum's manager Ali Abdelaziz told Ariel Helwani on ESPN Radio that he hopes to see Gastelum face Israel Adesanya in April for an interim title.

Meanwhile, Silva embraced the crowd following his hard fought loss and stated once again that he's not going anywhere except back to the gym to prepare for his next fight.

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