Aussie UFC champ Robert Whittaker pulls out on day of title defence

Aussie UFC champ Robert Whittaker pulls out on day of title defence

"This is insane", Adesanya said.

The Silva-Adesanya showdown was set to be a showcase for Adesanya, a star on the rise who has taken MMA by storm in his year in the UFC.

Luckless Australian UFC champion Robert Whittaker is shattered after being forced to abandon his middleweight title defence due to a "freak" abdominal injury which could have proved fatal in a bout.

Silva eventually started charging forward more and more as time ticked away on the clock and that's when he managed to tag Adesanya with some stiff shots of his own.

Heading into the fight, Adesanya was an overwhelming favorite but he found out quickly in the opening round that the 43-year old Silva still had some fight left in him. "Well, this is it for me". 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. When it ended, both moved to the center of the ring and went to their knees and bowed their heads in a show of respect. Adesanya has won five consecutive fights in the Octagon, tying him for the second-longest active winning streak in the middleweight division. "You only develop these methods through years of hard-fought experience. Big respect always. It would be an honor!" Many, including Conor McGregor, blasted Gastelum's act.

You can live-stream the fight and order the main card on UFC.TV and ESPN+. Adesanya had the faster hands and was consistently getting home, though he wasn't punching in combination.

By the third round, Silva's right eye was swelling but he never was out of the fight.

On Saturday night, MMA Fighting reported that Ovince Saint Preux, who was scheduled to face Canadian Misha Cirkunov at UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas, has withdrawn from the bout due to an injury.

The victor was in line to be the next challenger to Whittaker. Whittaker underwent emergency surgery Sunday. He emerged a few hours later from surgery, but is expected to spend several days recovering in the hospital.

Curitiba will be the host site for UFC 237 on May 11, which has no official main event yet.

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