This fight gives me that creepy Chuck Liddell vibe, where I kind of don't want to watch Anderson Silva fight anymore, because he seems old, but... at the same time... Anderson Silva can still knock people out, so... Israel Adesanya is dangerous though, and sort of the next generation of Anderson Silva. With all of that being said, they both landed some solid shots, and I'm assuming Adesanya won the first round, but Silva kept it competitive at least.
      Silva was really aggressive in the second round, coming forward, almost screaming, and blasting Adesanya with some big shots, over and over again. Adesanya was still firing back with some clean striking as well, but I think Silva won that second round, and I have this fight all tied up going into the final round. That's impressive, considering Silva is a huge underdog in this fight.
      The final round was weird, but good. They were both taunting each other a lot, there was a lot of staring, but they were both still landing some big shots. Adesanya looked really clean, and Silva looked really aggressive. I honestly don't know who won this fight. I'm assuming Adesanya will win, 29-28, but I wouldn't be shocked by a split-decision, and I also wouldn't be surprised if the judges give the fight to Silva. I really don't know what to expect. I really would have liked to see these guys go 5 rounds. All 3 judges gave the decision to Adesanya, with only one judge giving a round to Silva. That was a good fight overall, and even though Silva kept it close, I kind of hope he retires now. It sounds like he wants one more fight in Brazil.
TKO (Knees & Punches)
      Brunson clinched with double underhooks to start the first round. Brunson grabbed Adesanya's shorts twice, so the referee took away the position and reset them with a stern warning. Brunson shot for a terrible takedown, which Adesanya just walked out of, leaving Brunson on the ground, grabbing for Adesanya's toes. That happened a few more times, and Adesanya continued to show some fantastic takedown defense. Adesanya dropped Brunson with some big knees, a head kick, some punches, he dropped him multiple times, and then the referee finally had to stop the fight as Brunson was having trouble getting back to his feet. That was a fantastic finish by Israel Adesanya, and the one weakness people thought he might have (wrestling), he completely nullified with fantastic defense. Israel Adesanya is one of my favorite fighters right now, and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of damage he can do to the UFC Middleweight division.
      The first round was a competitive round of back & forth striking, where both guys threw some decent shots, but neither fighter was really going for it yet. Adesanya stepped it up a notch in the second round and started to pick apart Tavares with his striking, but he received a warning for keeping his fingers pointed toward Tavares, so that slowed things down a bit. The first round could have gone either way, but the second round goes to Adesanya.
      The third round was another round full of Adesanya working over Tavares with punches & kicks, and spinning back elbows, and all sorts of neat strikes. Adesanya blasted Tavares with some hard shots to start the fourth round, and then Tavares shot for a takedown, and finally brought Adesanya to the ground 50 seconds into the round. Adesanya scrambled around, Tavares took his back 90 seconds into the round, he landed a few punches, and then Adesanya stood up, and whipped Tavares to the ground with a surprise Kimura attempt. He then pinned Tavares against the fence, blasted him with some big punches, and then they reset. They traded a few more strikes, and then the doctor had to check out a cut above Tavares's right eye, due to an elbow from Adesanya. Adesanya clearly won at least 3 out of the first 4 rounds, if not all 4. This has been a good performance so far for Adesanya.
      Tavares looked exhausted in the third round, and Adesanya was basically using him as a punching bag, as he was methodically chipping away at him with clean strikes, and then he stuffed Tavares's shots whenever he tried to take the fight to the ground. In the end, Adesanya clearly won this fight, with nearly a clean sweep across the scorecards, with only one judge giving the first round to Tavares, while all the other rounds went to Adesanya. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this guy's ceiling is. He has a ton of potential, and I still can't help but compare him to a middleweight version of Jon Jones.
Decision (Split)
      The first round had both guys trading strikes at a decent pace, without either fighter taking a significant lead in my opinion. Adesanya poked Vettori in the eye with 90 seconds left in the round, and after a brief pause, they went back to trading strikes again. That was a close round that could potentially go either way, but I'm leaning slightly in favor of Adesanya on that one.
     Adesanya punched Vettori a few times to start the second round, Vettori claimed he was poked in the eye again, everyone told him to keep fighting, so he shot for a takedown, and Adesanya was able to stuff his shot without much of a problem. Adesanya blasted Vettori with a clean elbow, and Vettori tried to claim he got poked again, but it was a legit elbow. Adesanya continued to pick apart Vettori for the rest of the round. I have Adesanya ahead 20-18 going into the final round.
     They traded a few punches to start the final round, and then Vettori finally scored a takedown 45 seconds into the round. Vettori mostly just smothered Adesanya for a couple of minutes, Adesanya worked his way back up to his feet, and Vettori refused to let him go, so he continued to hang onto Adesanya, while trying to drag him back to the ground from a tight clinch, but Adesanya did a decent job staying on his feet. Vettori scored another takedown, Adesanya worked his way back up to his feet, and Vettori continued to grind Adesanya against the fence until the referee split them up with 90 seconds left in the fight. They continued to trade strikes at a decent pace until the end of the round. The final round goes to Vettori, but this should be a clear 29-28 decision for Adesanya, and two judges agreed with me, giving him the split-decision victory.
TKO (Knees & Punches)
      Adesanya is making his UFC debut here, and he has a lot of hype behind him, with an 11-0 record, and a crazy kickboxing record as well. He also looks a little like a small Jon Jones. They traded a few strikes to start the first round, and then Wilkinson clinched and pressed Adesanya against the fence, clearly trying to wear him down without taking much damage at all. Wilkinson tripped Adesanya to the ground 2 minutes into the opening round, but Adesanya immediately popped back up to his feet. Wilkinson continued to work for takedowns, with moderate success, but Adesanya was able to get back to his feet quickly every time. They finally reset with 2 minutes left in the round. Adesanya landed some hard kicks, and then Wilkinson tried to take him down again, but Adesanya did a forward roll to basically flip out of it. I'm giving the first round to Wilkinson based on pressure, but he wasn't very successful with his wrestling gameplan. He was at least able to prevent Adesanya from scoring much with his striking.
     Wilkinson continued to work his wrestling in the second round, but Adesanya seemed to have it figured out, as he was able to stuff almost all of his shots this time, and he also blasted Wilkinson with some hard punches & kicks & knees. Wilkinson started to work his stalemate clinching again around the 2 minute mark of the round, but Adesanya continued to do a good job scrambling out, to create some distance to work. Around the halfway point of the round, Adesanya bloodied Wilkinson's face with some strikes, he blasted him with some hard leg kicks, and Wilkinson looked like he was starting to look for a way out. Adesanya slaughtered him with a series of hard punches, and knees, with a high % of accuracy, and Wilkinson just looked lost, as he covered up against the fence, and collapsed. That was a solid debut for Adesanya in his UFC debut.