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Anderson Silva, 43, impresses in unanimous decision loss to Israel Adesanya

11 February 2019

Robert Whittaker (20-4) will no longer be defending his UFC Middleweight Championship this Saturday night against Kelvin Gastelum (15-3-1) in the co-main event. The final scorecards read 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28, all in Adesanya's favor.

The fight went to the scorecards after going the full three round distance but it was Adesanya that got the win via unanimous decision.

Adesanya, of Nigeria, refused to fall into Silva's traps. Previously, UFC officials had stated the victor of the new main event between Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva would be declared the No. 1 contender.

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In the final five minutes of the fight, Adesanya surged ahead with a stronger showing on his feet while blasting Silva with several low kicks to the thigh. During the fight itself, Anderson Silva threw all of the devilish tricks he is renowned for, into the pot, but in the end, Israel Adesanya proved himself to be quite the student of the fight game, and quite befitting of his nickname: The Last Stylebender.

"If I'm playing basketball to play against Michael Jordan, this is it for me", Adesanya said after facing one of his idols in Silva. White also said that had Whittaker fought, his medical issue could have been fatal. Every time Silva managed to force Adesanya to back up, he did his best work in the fight.

Whittaker was hospitalized with a stomach hernia that required immediate surgery, forcing the UFC to scrap their scheduled world title main event between the Australian and Gastelum in Melbourne.

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On the broadcast, UFC President Dana White said that the promotion's doctors had never seen a situation like Whittaker's happen to someone as young as him and referred to it as a freak incident.

"Then, after he heals up, maybe I can give him a crack at my 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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"I love my job", Silva said following the fight. I continue to fight because this is my home. "Hopefully, I'll fight in Curitiba". "But Israel went in with a sold-out house tonight and a lot of pressure on him..."

Anderson Silva, 43, impresses in unanimous decision loss to Israel Adesanya