Brad Tavares had no answer for Israel Adesanya.
Adesanya finally had the chance to showcase just how good he is. It was sink or swim for “The Last Stylebender,” who received his first UFC main event and a top-10 middleweight. Adesanya passed with flying colors.
Adesanya wasted little time going high with a kick. Tavares closed the distance and moved in for the clinch. Adesanya got out of the clinch. A leg kick was there for Adesanya. A right hand was there for Tavares. Adesanya landed a leg kick followed by a kick to the body. There was a clear speed advantage for Adesanya. Tavares shot in on a single leg, but Adesanya avoided the takedown. Adesanya rolled for a leg lock near the end of the round.
Adesanya landed a couple of leg kicks early in the second round. He went for a wheel kick. Tavaeres shot in deep and drove Adesanya against the fence. “The Last Stylebender” reversed the position and returned to the center of the Octagon. Tavares was struggling to close the distance. He was able to get a right hand in. Referee Herb Dean warned Adesanya of sticking his fingers out. A kick from Adesanya rocked Tavares.
The third round was underway and Adesanya looked to pic up where he left off. Tavares started to connect with the jab. A knee to the chin was there for Adesanya. Adesanya tripped his opponent down. Another knee landed for Adesanya followed by a body kick. Tavares had another takedown attempt stuffed. Adesanya landed an elbow off the clinch break. A big left hand buckled Tavares. Adesanya got in an uppercut. A head kick landed for Adesanya near the end of the round.
Right away in the fourth round, Adesanya connected with a combination. Tavares shot in and he was finally able to take his opponent down. Adesanya locked in a triangle, but couldn’t hold it. Tavares took the back of Adesanya, but he was too close to the fence. Adesnaya got back up and used a kimura to get his opponent on the ground. The fight stood back up and Adesanya had Tavares’ nose leaking blood. Herb Dean called time for the doctor to look at a cut above the eye of Tavares. It was from a short elbow. Time resumed and Adesanya continued to look as fresh as he did in round one. Adesanya landed a knee to the body.
The final round was underway and Tavares couldn’t get a takedown. Adesanya stuffed another takedown atteempt and ended up in top control. Tavares went for a kneebar, but there was nothing there. Adesanya passed guard, but let his opponent back up. “The Last Stylebender” landed a knee upstairs. The final horn sounded, this was a clinic.
Final Result: Israel Adesanya def. Brad Tavares via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-45)