Adesanya earns hard-fought UD win over hero Silva at UFC 234
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC / UFC / Getty

The student has become the master.

Israel Adesanya defeated his idol Anderson Silva via unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 234 in Australia on Saturday.

It was widely expected to be a one-sided bout in favor of the younger fighter, the heaviest opposing favorite in Silva's illustrious career. But the Brazilian soaked up the energy of the crowd to turn back the clock and make the fight shockingly competitive.

Adesanya took each of the three rounds, but Silva looked dangerous in his return to the Octagon after a two-year absence. He even taunted his foe, keeping his guard down multiple times and inviting Adesanya to take a shot.

Both fighters came close to stunning knockout blows, but they couldn't quite get the finish.

While Adesanya prevailed in what was billed as a No. 1 contender fight, it's unclear how the division will play out after champion Robert Whittaker withdrew from his title defense versus Kelvin Gastelum due to injury.

Adesanya extended his unbeaten UFC record to 5-0, while Silva's overall MMA record dropped to 34-9, 1 NC.

Adesanya earns hard-fought UD win over hero Silva at UFC 234
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