Nigeria’s Israel Adesanya has won the Interim UFC Middleweight Championship by unanimous decision over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday night.
In the co-main event, Adesanya and Gastelum engaged in one of the most epic UFC title fights in recent memory, with the undefeated ‘Stylebender’ coming away from the clash with the interim middleweight belt after a goliath showing in the final round.
Adesanya was incredibly precise and showcased a wide array of different strikes in his arsenal over five rounds.
Gastelum pushed his opponent to the limit and ‘Stylebender’ was required to dig extremely deep to win.
Following the win, Adesanya laid his newly acquired belt at the feet of City Kickboxing head coach, Eugene Bareman.
‘I was ready for war. I told y’all,’ he told Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview.
A leaping right hook sent Adesanya down in the first, before ‘Stylebender’ kicked into action in the second, sending Gastelum down with a piston straight. The City Kickboxing fighter also landed a dazzling spinning back elbow, underlining his dominance over the second stanza.
Adesanya continued to have success controlling the range with his dynamic arsenal in the third, but Gastelum barked back by cutting the Kiwi under his right eye in the fourth. Before the end of the fourth, both men traded big moments, with Adensanya coming off the worse from a Gastelum head kick.
‘Stylebender’ put on a showcase in the final round, displaying his lesser-known submission ability with a guillotine and triangle attempt early on. His right hand stung Gastelum on multiple occasions over the final five minutes and dramatically knocked him to the ground before the final bell.