UFC 234 Main Event Recap: Where Do We Go Next

Israel vs Anderson Silva

After a thrilling main event at UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia, Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya’s hand was raised as the victor. He and Anderson “The Spider” Silva slugged it out for three solid rounds.

The fight remained standing for the majority and featured some high-level striking. Adesanya, for the most part, was able to defend against any major strikes from Silva, refusing to get baited.

In the end, Adesanya landed more total strikes 65-34 and won the fight by unanimous decision. The end of the fight left more questions than answers though. Who would Adesanya fight next? Would it be a title shot? Would this be Silva’s last rodeo? If not, who would he challenge next? Let’s take a look at what the future holds for these two fighters.

The GOAT

Throughout the course of the pre-fight press conferences, Adesanya referred to Silva as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time). He cited Silva as an inspiration in his fighting career.

Based on Silva’s illustrious career, Dana White, UFC President offered him a shot at the Middleweight Championship if he were to defeat Adesanya. Since that didn’t happen, Jon Anik asked Silva, the 43-year-old in a post-fight octagon interview if he would fight again. Silva’s answer was that he wanted to fight again in Curitiba, Brazil, his hometown.

Being that UFC 237 is going to be held in Curitiba in May, the possibility of a homecoming is very real. At the post-fight press conference dressed in his houndstooth suit, Silva was pressed again about a future fight. He again referenced that he would want to fight in Curitiba. He would go on to say that his preference was to have a rematch with Nick Diaz.

The original outcome of their first bout was a unanimous decision for Silva. However, the result was changed to a no-contest after Silva tested positive for anabolic steroids in a post-fight test. The whole situation surrounding the first fight offers more incentive for a rematch. We will see what White and the UFC brass try to book as far as a follow-up fight.

The Up and Comer

The original main event for UFC 234 was scheduled to be Robert Whittaker against Kelvin Gastelum for the UFC Middleweight Championship. Just 24 hours prior to the fight though, Whittaker complained of abdominal pain and sought medical treatment.

It was later discovered that he had an abdominal hernia and would have to pull out of the fight and have emergency surgery.  This thrust Adesanya and Silva into the main event spot. The win for Adesanya plus the impressive showing definitely put him in title contention for the middleweight belt. 

On Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, he mentioned that he deserved a title shot. “Me and Kelvin can fight for the belt and he (Whittaker) can fight me as a number one contender when he heals up,” said Adesanya. It seems as though he is destined to fight Gastelum for the interim title in the near future.

What’s Next?

At 43 years old it seems that Silva is coming to the end of his fighting career. A victory against Nick Diaz in his hometown of Curitiba would be an excellent way to walk off into the sunset with his head high. Whatever the future holds, Silva has put his stamp on the UFC and will go down in history as one of the greatest to ever do it.

Adesanya is just getting started. And after an overachieving 2018, he only looks poised to continue his dominance in the UFC’s middleweight division. Is a title belt his next accolade? The MMA world will have to wait and find out.

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