The Current UFC Middleweight Champion, Israel Adesanya will attempt to join the exclusive list of two division champions. It will certainly be not an easy fight for Adesanya as he will face Jan Blachowicz. In this article, we will look back and recall how good he was in his rise to becoming a champion.
Adesanya has yet to face a defeat in the Octagon, but what makes him a star is how he wins and how well spoken he is in the mic. The list below will list down his five most impressive win of his UFC career.
The list will be difficult to make since most of his fights end either in a stoppage or just plain out dog fight, well except the Yoel Romero fight.
5. Anderson Silva (UFC 234)
During the build-up, Adesanya even shed a tear because growing up Silva was his hero, he even credited Silva was the reason he started MMA. Even though Adesanya was thought to dominate the fight easily, since he was in his prime, Silva showed a shadow of his former self during that fight.
The fight was like the movie “Matrix”, it had all the actions of a movie. It was a showcase two striking specialist in the highest levels. The feints and setup were just high-level and both were aware of each other’s danger. The fight ended in a unanimous decision in the side of Adesanya. Silva then told Adesanya that he passed the torch to him and will be the next champion.
4. Derek Brunson (UFC 230)
This fight may be the first true test for Adesanya since Brunson was a top ranked fighter in the division. We all know Adesanya is one of the best in the striking department, but what happens if he faces a good wrestler.
In the fight, Brunson did not want part of Adesanya’s striking, he was basically set up a volume takedowns strategy. After a takedown attempt, he then tried to shoot another.
Unfortunately for Brunson, Adesanya timed a counter knee to Brunson’s takedown and it was the beginning of the end. Adesanya then went on for the finish that made Herb Dean stop the fight. The fight put Adesanya’s name in the middleweight contender’s radar.
3. Robert Whittaker (UFC 243)
In terms of name, Whittaker might be the best in Adesanya’s resume. Other than Silva who was past his prime, Whittaker is the only champion that Adesanya beat. Many thought that Adesanya still lacked the experience to fight a veteran like Whittaker. The fight was for the undisputed middleweight belt.
The fight was a true masterclass of Adesanya’s counter striking. Whittaker was known for his lightning jab that is hard to read but Adesanya just showed that his striking was levels above. Adesanya almost finished the fight in the first round where he knocked down Whittaker in the last seconds of the fight. The fight was saved by the bell.
In the second round, Whittaker looked like he was in recovery mode and was not sharp as he was in the round prior. Adesanya then landed a perfect hook counter that had Whittaker wobbled and eventually finished.
2. Paulo Costa (UFC 253)
There is always a different aura when two undefeated clash especially in a championship fight. Costa was off a more impressive win against Romero, meanwhile Adesanya was labeled the boring fighter due to his fight Romero prior. Well that night Adesanya proved the doubters once more and showed that he is still one of the most entertaining fighters in the UFC.
The fight showed one of the most flawless wins, Adesanya was not hurt and in trouble even for a second. He chopped the legs and landed jabs in the first round to avoid closing the distance. When the second round started, Adesanya landed a headkick that led to a bleeding in the head of Costa.
Costa felt an urgency to press the action but then it was all part of Adesanya’s traps. Adesanya landed the same counter hook he finished Whittaker, that led to a finish as well.
1. Kelvin Gastelum
The fight that Adesanya showed he has one of the strongest wills among the fighters. The fight was for the interim middleweight belt, and Gastelum was originally the title challenger against Whittaker but was cancelled.
The fight against Gastelum is still Adesanya’s toughest fight to this date. In the first round, Gastelum landed a lunging strike that wobbled Adesanya a bit but in the second and third round he came back and won those two rounds where he even got Gastelum rocked and knocked down.
Gastelum got a second wind as well in the fourth round where he landed a leg kick against Adesanya. It is really impressive considering he landed it to someone as tall as Adesanya and it was the fourth round. Going to the fifth round it was an even 2-2 scorecard, whoever wins the last round was likely to win the fight.
Going to the fifth round, momentum was in the side of Gastelum but Adesanya dug even deeper. Adesanya showed that there is no giving up in him and dug deep. He showcased a great counterstriking and even showed his grappling abilities by attempting a guillotine choke and triangle choke. The fight ended in a unanimous decision where Adesanya won the last round 10-8.