On Friday, White confirmed that Adesanya and Silva were fighting for the No.1 middleweight contender spot, but given the events of the past 24 hours, it's unclear as to whether that is still the case.
Silva said it was the equivalent of facing Michael Jordan in basketball.
With the original UFC 234 headliner scrapped due to Robert Whittaker's emergency hernia surgery, Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva took center stage in Melbourne on Saturday night. "The kid's got 'it, '" White said.
The blazing hands and the remarkable reflexes that led Anderson Silva to become the greatest fighter in the world at his peak are long gone. "It's one of those situations where if it had popped out during the fight it could have been fatal for him". Adesanya sidestepped the blow, however, and went back to work. "I earned this. I showed up, traveled thousands and thousands of miles from home, and made the weight". Sometimes it's not in your control.
The Australian crowd booed loudly at Adesanya's words towards the champion but he ultimately sent well wishes to Whittaker in his post fight speech.
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Earlier in the week UFC President Dana White confirmed that the victor of the bout would be next in line for a middleweight title shot, however with Whittaker's withdrawal, Adesanya will likely have to wait for the dust to settle between Gastelum and Whittaker.
Due to Whittaker's last minute medical emergency, the much anticipated matchup ended up serving as the main event of the evening and it did not disappoint.
Kelvin Gastelum, with a title belt draped over his shoulder, called himself "the champ" when speaking with media at UFC 234 on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia.
"I try to fight in Curitiba, my city".
Whittaker started vomiting soon after the abdominal pain began but refused to go to hospital until 3am on Sunday.
Anderson Silva had flashes of brilliance throughtout the fight, but Israel Adesanya always remained calm and continued to outpoint Silva for the better portion of the fight.