It wasn’t the planned main event, but Israel Adesanya still earned the biggest win of his career Saturday night at UFC 234.
Replacing Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelun in the headline bout from Australia, Adesanya scored himself a decision victory over former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Hours before the card was to start, officials announced that Whittaker vs. Gastelum for the middleweight title was off due to Whittaker – the reigning champion – suffering an abdominal hernia.
Adesanya remained unbeaten in his career and took a giant step toward becoming the next challenger to the 185-pound title with the decision win.
In the co-main event, Lando Vannata earned a submission in the first round with just five seconds left vs. Marcos Mariano. Vannata again took advantage of a shuffled lineup, scoring another big-time win.
Ricky Simon bested Rani Yahya via decision, Montana De La Rosa submitted Nadia Kassem and Jimmy Crute finished Sam Alvey in the first round to complete the pay-per-view main card.
On ESPN, Devonte Smith, Shane Young, Kai Kara-France and Kyung Ho Kang all earned victories, with Jalin Turner and Jonathan Martinez picking up wins on UFC Fight Pass.
Complete results are below:
Israel Adesanya def. Anderson Silva via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Lando Vannata def. Marcos Mariano via submission (kimura) at 4:55 of Round 1
Rani Yahya def. Ricky Simon via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)
Montana De La Rosa def. Nadia Kassem via verbal submission (armbar) at 2:37 of Round 2
Jim Crute def. Sam Alvey via TKO (strikes) at 2:49 of Round 1
Devonte Smith def. Dong Hyun Ma via TKO (strikes) at 3:53 of Round 1
Shane Young def. Austin Arnett via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Kai Kara-France def. Raulian Paiva via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Kyung Ho Kang def. Teruto Ishihara via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:59 of Round 1
Jalin Turner def. Callan Potter via KO (strike) at :53 of Round 1
Jonathan Martinez def. Wuliji Buren via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)