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Israel Adesanya Defeats Kelvin Gastelum To Claim The Middleweight Championship

Blood, blood, red blood as Israel Adesanya humbled Kelvin Gastelum.

What you'll hear most often when fans and member of the MMA media are discussing the UFC 236 co-main event between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum is "what a fight." The battle for the interim middleweight championship was one of the best title fights I've seen in over 25 years of following the sport.

Adesanya prevailed via unanimous decision and he put a final stamp on his victory with a dominant fifth round that nearly ended with a stoppage. The counter right hand was Adesanya's biggest weapon. He routinely tagged Gastelum with a pool-stick-like right hand.

However, like a rock of adamantium, Gastelum ate most of the shots and went the full five rounds. He was dropped several times but never hurt enough for referee Marc Goddard to call an end to the bout. Gastelum had his moments. He won the first round with an educated jab and a hard left hook.

The latter resulted in a knockdown. In the fourth, Gastelum badly hurt Adesanya with a left head kick. Gastelum surged after stunning the Last Stylebender but inexplicably went for a takedown rather than looking to finish with strikes.

With the win Adesanya didn't just capture the interim title, he assured himself of a fight with current middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. That fight will produce an undisputed king of the UFC's 185-pound division. There's something about a truly great fight. There is no specific formula, but you know when you're watching one.

Adesanya is the one who leaves Atlanta with the title, but the stock of both men went up.

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