UFC 236: Israel Adesanya Outscores Kelvin Gastelum in Thrilling War
Israel Adesanya is the UFC's interim 185 champ, but the vaunted striker was tested by Kelvin Gastelum.
Gastelum came out aggressively as expected, and Adesanya looked to counter. Not long into the opening frame, Gastelum sent Adesanya stumbling back, in what would have likely been a knockdown if not for the cage, via a right hook. Adesyana cranked up his attacks for the remainder of the round, but was unable to land any telling strikes.
Adesanya pressed forward to begin round two, and Gastelum countered with big, wing hooks. Adesanya proceeded to put Gastelum momentarily on the deck with a well placed right. Moments later, Adesanya stunned Gastelum with a beautifully timed, spinning elbow. Gastelum shot in for a takedown moments before the round ended, but was denied.
Adesanya came out with plenty of kicks in round three, and both fighters landed some hard right hands in the frame. Late in the round, Gastelum took Adesanya to the mat, but the latter quickly got back to his feet.
Gastelum charged out in round four and fired off big shots. Adesanya was able to avoid most of the punches, but he didn’t fire back initially. Then later in the round, the middleweights exchanged punches in the pocket, and both men found the mark. Late in round four, Gastelum stunned Adesanya with a head kick, but the feared striker managed to weather the follow-up storm.
Gastelum came out aggressively again in round five, and while Adesanya countered well, the TUF winner kept coming. Moments later, Adesanya had Gastelum scrambling to defend a guillotine choke, and when the action spilled to the ground, a triangle-choke as well. Adesanya pounded in a couple of big rights later in the round, one of which put Gastelum momentarily on the deck. Not long after, Adesanya proceeded to score not one, but two more knockdowns before the final horn went. What a fight.
With the win, Adesanya takes home the interim middleweight title.
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Here are the results so far for UFC 236, which is going down in Atlanta, Georgia.
Interim Middleweight Championship
Israel Adesanya def. Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46)
Khalil Rountree def. Eryk Anders via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Dwight Grant def. Alan Jouban via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Nikita Krylov def. Ovince Saint Preux via submission (rear-naked-choke) R2, 2:30
Matt Frevola def. Jalin Turner via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alexandre Pantoja def. Wilson Reis via TKO (punches) R1, 2:58
Max Griffin def. Zelim Imadaev via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)
Khalid Taha def. Boston Salmon via TKO (punches) R1, 0:25
Belal Muhammad def. Curtis Millender via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 30-26)
Montel Jackson def. Andre Soukhamthath via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27)
Poliana Botelho def. Lauren Mueller def. unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Brandon Davis def. Randy Costa via submission (rear-naked-choke) R2, 1:12