Whit­taker pulls out with in­jury, Ade­sanya wins at UFC 234

Santa Fe New Mexican - - SPORTS -

MEL­BOURNE, Aus­tralia — Robert Whit­taker pro­vided most of the early drama at UFC 234 in Aus­tralia and Is­rael Ade­sanya quite a lot at the end.

About eight hours be­fore their sched­uled fight, Aus­tralia’s UFC mid­dleweight cham­pion Whit­taker with­drew from his cham­pi­onship de­fense against Kelvin Gastelum be­cause of a se­ri­ous ab­dom­i­nal in­jury and sub­se­quent emer­gency surgery due to a per­fo­rated her­nia.

That moved up the highly an­tic­i­pated No. 1 con­tender match be­tween ris­ing New Zealand star Ade­sayna and Brazil­ian vet­eran An­der­son Silva (34-9) to the main event on the sold-out Rod Laver Arena card.

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. De­spite the late flurry, Ade­sayna ap­peared to have marginally taken the first round.

Silva ap­peared to have won the sec­ond round, and chants for the Brazil­ian went up in the crowd to start the third and fi­nal round. But Ade­sayna, now 16-0, dom­i­nated the third for a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 as per the judges’ cards.

ANDY BROWNBILL/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Nige­ria’s Is­rael Ade­sanya, left, re­acts af­ter de­feat­ing Brazil’s An­der­son Silva at the UFC 234 event Sun­day in Mel­bourne.

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