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UFC 236 live blog: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya

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Kelvin Gastelum faces off with Israel Adesanya ahead of their interim middleweight championship co-main event bout at UFC 236 on Saturday at State Farm Arena in Atlanta
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 236 live blog for Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya, an interim middleweight championship bout at Saturday’s UFC event at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Gastelum, who is coming off of back-to-back wins over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Michael Bisping and was previously scheduled to fight undisputed champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 234, faces Adesanya, who is unbeaten in 16 pro MMA bouts including five UFC appearances, in the co-main event.

Check out the UFC 236 live blog below.

Round 1: Kelvin does not come out pressuring, which is unexpected. Not much action for the first minute, but it’s a long fight. Kelvin charges forward but isn’t able to land much. Lots of feints from Israel. Kelvin lands a good body kick but seems content to stay at range. Israel starts pressuring and lands a great punch but Kelvin eats it, swings and gets Adesanya moving back and stumbling. Now Kelvin lands a good straight to the body. Gastelum lands a good overhand and he’s more than holding his own on the feet! Israel enters the matrix to dodge a combination but he’s not throwing enough. Kelvin lands a couple of crisp jabs and this is very unexpected. Good left from Adesanya. A combination from Adesanya gets Gastelum’s attention. The round ends with both men standing in the center. We could be in for a good one, folks.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Gastelum.

Round 2: Israel is feinting a ton to start the second. Gastelum still isn’t able to pressure that well but he hasn’t needed to, he’s landing shots. Israel lands a solid combination. Gastelum is throwing with much more power than Adesanya, but that may cost him over five rounds. Israel is backing up Kelvin now but Gastelum backs him off with a powerful combo that misses. Kelvin finally gets Israel to the fence and has some success but Israel pivots off. Israel drops Kelvin! He follows him to the ground but Kelvin gets back up. Gastelum looks a liittle winded but his feet seem fine. Now he’s trying to clinch and still swinging hammers but they are noticeably slower. Adesanya is in pursuit and Gastelum is waiving him in against the fence. huge swing and a miss from Gastelum and now they’re back to the center. Kelvin should really think about mixing it up with wrestling because he is getting blasted. Kelvin’s knees go and he shoots! Adesanya defends and Kelvin swings again and connects! This is awesome! With 15 seconds, Kelvin shoots but fails. He does land a looping left hook but Kelvin seems really spent in there.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 for Adesanya (19-19 overall)

Round 3: The crowd is on its feet to start round three. Momentum is all Adesanya. Kelvin may still be a little groggy, he’s dancing around, seemingly trying to get his legs back but they look fresh. And “Adesanya” chants erupts in the arena and Israel lands a big knee in the clinch. A good body kick from Israel and if Kelvin keeps taking those, he’ll be in trouble. Gastelum definitely looks slower in there now but he’s coming forward and lands a good left hook! A clean right gets through for Aesanya and a counter straight backs Gastelum up. Kelvin is shoe leather tough and he’s still throwing haymakers but Israel is slipping them with easy. Easy crushes Kelvin with a body kick and that one hurt. Kelvin lands a good left hook in an exchange and Israel resets. Now Kelvin shoots and he gets the takedown!Israel is against the fence and gets right back to his feet. Kelvin appears to have picked up some energy after the takedown and his punchers are crisper, but still missing. Good left for Kelvin lands in the clinch. Adesanya is in pursuit and has a head kick blocked. Israel goes for a superman punch off the cage but falls short and the round ends.

MMAFighting score the round 10-9 Adesanya (29-28 Adesanya overall).

Round 4: Kelvin looks refreshed to start the fourth. He’s pressuring with much moreurgency now. Adesanya is running away but Gastelum is doing good work now. Adesanya keeps looking for a counter-elbow when Gastelum gets inside. He lands a good clinch knee. Kelvin’s initial hot start has slowed and Israel snaps his head back with a straight right. Kelvin keeps coming though and Kelvin lands a good left hand. Adesanya lands a straight to the body and Kelvin comes back with a left hand. Adesanya is seeing the left hand but as he evades, Kelvin is able to force him against the fence. Israel slips out and peppers Gastelum at range. Kelvin is succeeding at getting Adesanya back more but he’s still not landing anthing and now they are trading shots! Adesanya gets the better of it but good lord is Kelvin Gastelum tough. Adesanya has definitely been bloodied and now he looks t be fading. A great left from Adesanya cracks Gastelum but he’s having trouble making a dent. A big head kick from Kelvin wobbles Adesanya! He’s on rubber legs but Gastelum shoots a takedown! He gets stuffed and Israel hurts him with a head kick! This is insanity. The rounds ends with Adesanya wobbly and walking back to his corner.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Gastelum

Round 5: Gastelum comes out ablaze but nothing lands. Adesanya was not ready to get his this much. Israel lands a massive combination and then a front kick and another combination but Gastelum is still there. He cannot be stopped! Israel hurts Kelvin, Kelvin goes for a takedown but Israel locks up a tight guillotine. He goes to the ground and Kelvin reverses and Israel locks up a triangle. Kelvin escapes! Israel is obliterating him with punches but Kelvin is the terminator. Adesanya lands another huge punch. This is anarchy. Another one, and another one! Gastelum is made of mithril and adamantium and all the hard things in the world. He shoots but Adesanya stuffs it and he’s energy looks to be back. He clubs Gastelum again but still Gastelum stands! A five punch combination finally drops Gastelum but when Israel follows him down, Gastelum gets a single and drives him up and to the fence. Again Adesanya is tuning up Gasteulm. He drops! Still Kelvin fights on. This is unbelievable. Gastleum is completely out of it and stands and gets dropped gain. Israel is desperately trying to finish the fight but the bells sounds as he drops Kelvin again!

MMAFighting scores the round 10-8 Adesanya (48-46 Adesanya overall)

Official result: Israel Adesanya wins by unanimous decision (48-46 x3)