Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum just put on an all-out war for the interim UFC middleweight title in the co-main event of tonight’s (Sat., April 13, 2019) UFC 236 from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
In the end, Adesanya won the fight by unanimous decision, yet it was hard to call Gastelum a loser. After five hard-fought rounds, the Nigerian-born New Zealander emerged victorious via unanimous decision following a hellacious, dominant fifth round.
It wasn’t easy by any means. Gastelum hurt Adesanya in the first round with a vicious hook. We hadn’t yet seen him hurt like that in his five prior Octagon bouts. Like a true champ, he weathered the storm and came back to drop Gastelum in the second:
Adesanya then landed a huge spinning back elbow to wobble the ultra-tough Yuma, AZ, native:
Gastelum kept fighting to the amazement of the crowd. He came back in the third to secure this takedown, but Adesanya got right back to his feet:
In the fourth, Adesanya snapped this quick right:
However, the tables soon turned when Gastelum landed a high kick that hit Adesanya on the neck and hurt him:
Adesanya was rocked and on the verge of being finished. He bounced back like a champion again and the fight became an all-out war in the fifth round:
Finally, the fight ended with ‘The Last Stylebender’ landed an absolute flurry of massive shots that bloodied and dropped Gastelum many times. Somehow, he made it to the final bell of the classic:
In the end, Adesanya was named the interim UFC middleweight champion by a clean sweep of 48-46 scores on the judges’ scorecards. He then dedicated the championship to his coach Eugene Bareman: