Nigerian-born fighter Israel Adesanya knocked out his American opponent Kelvin Gastelum twice in the UFC 236 main event and claimed the UFC interim middleweight title after he was announced winner in an epic five-round fight through unanimous decision.
During the first round, Gastelum proved that he would not be outclassed in the striking department, even dropping Adesanya to the ground after a powerful punch was landed. Instead, as always with excellent competitions, Adesanya came back straight away, rocking Gastelum himself in the second and getting the younger man in deep trouble.
The trend continued through the third and fourth, with both men exchanging dominant rounds before Adesanya came on strong in the final round coming seconds away from finishing the tired Gastelum until the bell called an end to proceedings.
“I was ready for a five-round battle, but this is not what I planned,” said Adesanya after the fight. “I’ve got to take a shower and gather my thoughts, watch the fight over again before I say too much about the fight, but what I’m going to say is that Kelvin did well to land the jab. It was surprising and I was shocked to see the comment come to him. If I wanted to I was able to contact him. You need such fights in your back pocket, but like I’ve always said fate is an understatement – the next fight … I’m going to make it memorable.
Adesanya is currently the middleweight interim champion, and will go on fighting Robert Whittaker later this year.