Rising MMA Star Israel Adesanya Holds off Veteran

Mixed martial arts star Israel Adesanya, a Nigerian-born New Zealander, beat former middleweight champion, Brazilian Anderson Silva in a wild three-round brawl, according to The Straits Times.

The match that was upgraded to the main event at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne started with Adesanya, 29, landing some heavy shots on the 43-year-old challenger.

“The first round was like a gongfu movie,” president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship Dana White said.

By round two, though, Silva began to mount a more effective offence and it quickly turned into a wild back-and-forth battle with both fighters using a range of unorthodox techniques, including high kicks and spinning attacks.

But, in the end, Adesanya’s ability to control the distance was enough to earn him a unanimous decision from the judges (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).

“Israel went in with a sold-out house, a lot of pressure on him … and he did a good job. It was a fun fight to watch with two guys who are incredibly talented,” White said.

Original article by The Straits Times, February 11, 2019.

Photo by Andy Brownbill.

Tags: Israel Adesanya  mixed martial arts (MMA)  Straits Times (The)  

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