Silva (34-9, 1 no-contest), of Palos Verdes, Calif, by way of Brazil, whose middleweight title reign from 2006-13 remains the longest reign in UFC history, has dropped three of his past four.
Israel Adesanya looked a bit star struck when he faced former middleweight champion and all-time great Anderson Silva, who he admitted to looking up to following their weigh-ins on Friday, however that did not deter the up and coming contender from out striking Silva en route to a unanimous decision victory. This is Silva's first appearance since February 2017.
Silva eventually started charging forward more and more as time ticked away on the clock and that's when he managed to tag Adesanya with some stiff shots of his own. Despite the late flurry, Adesayna appeared to have marginally taken the first round.
The respect Adesanya had for Silva was evident from the moment the fight began.
Still, Adesanya never allowed himself to eat too much damage before resetting in the center of the cage where he was constantly the aggressor.
A Silva-McGregor fight is highly unlikely to happen, though.
Adesanya, of Nigeria, refused to fall into Silva's traps.
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Silva enjoyed some success in a more competitive second round, nailing the younger man with some punches.
Immediately after the fight ended, Silva was overheard saying to Adesanya: "I pass the baton to you". "Crazy week. I showed up to work, a lot of people didn't even though it's out of their hands. Player one has the controller and I showed up".
The non-title middleweight bout headlined UFC 234 after defending middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was pulled from a title defense against Kelvin Gastelum on short notice due to an abdominal hernia.
But he drew boos from the crowd with what seemed to be a swipe at Whittaker.
Gastelum, a former victor of The Ultimate Fighter, conducted interviews after the news with a title belt. The surgery lasted three and a half hours, sources said.
"Rob said he was a bit bloated and a little bit exhausted which is not uncommon when you are going through the process they are going through, reloading and putting some food back in your body", Day told Australian Associated Press.