"You're the best thank you for everything", MMA legend Anderson Silva could be heard saying to Israel Adesanya as the pair embraced, fighting back tears following the Kiwi sensation's victory at UFC 234.
"This is like for a kid just to play, if I'm playing basketball, to play against Michael Jordan".
Moving forward to 2019, Whittaker who was slated to defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum in the main headliner of UFC 234 PPV event last night from Melbourne Australia once again forced to withdraw from a contest due to hernia issue.
Israel Adesanya punches Anderson Silva.
"Hopefully Rob heals up great", Gastelum said, "I wish him a speedy recovery and when he heals up maybe he can get a crack at my title".
Israel Adesanya rattles the jaw of Anderson Silva with a right hand strike. "It's one of those situations where if it had popped out during the fight it could have been fatal for him". Insane week. I showed up to work, a lot of people didn't.
"But, hey, Player one has the controller, so I showed up".
He also managed to take a shot at top ranked contender Kelvin Gastelum, who was walking around with a title on his shoulder all night while proclaiming that he was the new middleweight champion by default since Whittaker failed to compete on Saturday night.
But he drew boos from the crowd with what seemed to be a swipe at Whittaker. Whittaker was forced to pull out of the bout Saturday due to emergency surgery on his bowel and abdomen.
The win takes Nigerian-New Zealander a step closer to a potential trans-Tasman UFC middleweight title showdown with Australian Robert Whittaker, and sees the ethereal fighter take his professional record to 16-0. And although the Brazilian fought back with a couple of punches to Adesanya's chin, the Kiwi won the first round. "This is it for me", Adesanya said after the fight - after which he and Anderson Silva bowed down simultaneously in a showing of mutual respect - the younger pupil having rightfully earned his idol's respect.
Whittaker started vomiting soon after the abdominal pain began but refused to go to hospital until 3am on Sunday.
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