Israel Adesanya lands a left punch against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236

Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum battled it out for five rounds at UFC 236 in a fight that will be remembered as one of the very best of 2019.

We’ve compiled all the best highlights from Adesanya vs. Gastelum as provided by the official UFC Twitter.

You can also find our play-by-play analysis of the fight below.

Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum play-by-play

Round one

Kelvin Gastelum comes out and pushes the pace early. He’s composed though and waiting for his opportunities. Adesanya scoots back and maintains his ideal striking range. Gastelum advances and puts heaps of pressure on Adesanya, he catches him with a hook and Adesanya falls backward. Adesanya resets in the middle. Gastelum now working to the body. We’ve never seen Adesanya under this much pressure before. Gastelum catches Adesanya’s left kick and returns a punch but misses. Gastelum’s looking outstanding now and isn’t allowing Adesanya to settle into his rhythm.

Big round for Kelvin Gastelum and that’s a 10-9 start.

Round two

Gastelum’s causing plenty of problems for Adesanya. He scoots in and lands a right hand on the outside of Adesanya’s head. Gastelum lands a stiff jab that rocks Adesanya’s head back. Adesanya’s trying to up the pressure now but Gastelum landing cleanly. Adesanya seems to be sticking around at close range for far too long, as Gastelum is finding a home for his hooks. Gastelum’s jab is snappy but Adesanya lands a right hand and drops Gastelum. He recovers and they reset. Brilliant fight. Both fighters are taking deep breaths. Adesanya’s now on a roll. He drops Gastelum and he’s starting to show signs of being rocked. Gastelum fires back a left hand but Adesanya’s chin has held up all fight. Gastelum attempts a takedown and Adesanya sprawls and defends.

That’s a 10-9 round for Adesanya and it’s now 19-19.

Round three

This fight is incredible. It was all Gastelum early and now it’s all Adesanya. Adesanya’s been attempting lots of kicks. Most are missing but they occasionally land to the body. It only takes one clean shot to the head to end the fight, however, and Gastelum’s hands are lower than ever before. Gastelum’s doing a good job of slipping punches and moving into the pocket to throw his own strikes. Adesanya’s starting to become more aware of this tactic and is coming up with new answers as the fight progresses. Adesanya trying to fight long but it does feel like he’s vulnerable at close range now. Gastelum shoots for a takedown and secures an easy double-leg. Adesanya scoots back to the cage, pushes off Gastelum’s hips with his feet and gets back up.

Gotta be a 10-9 for Adesanya who takes the lead after round three.

Round four

Gastelum needs to change something. He comes out fast again but misses with his strikes. Adesanya gets it back to his preferred range and works the legs and body. Adesanya moves forward, clinches, and then lands a knee to the body. Low kick has been there all night for Adesanya. Gastelum eats a hard punch and returns his own. Gastelum’s punches are only narrowly missing Adesanya’s head. There’s enough power in them to cause real damage if they land clean. Gastelum now landing his short punches at the end of round four. Adesanya forced to throw higher volume now to keep him away. Adesanya’s face is marked up now. Gastelum with a 1-2 and high kick. Gastelum’s chasing after Adesanya who looks hurt after that combination. Gastelum shoots for a takedown but Adesanya defends. Now it’s Adesanya throwing strikes back at him.

Big round for Gastelum who ties it up at 2-2 after a 10-9 round in the fourth.

Round five

Gastelum again rushes at Adesanya to start the round. Adesanya smooth 1-2 down the middle. Gastelum chases again. Both men have taken heavy shots all night long and are still standing. Gastelum moves forward and Adesanya goes for a high-elbow guillotine. Gastelum spins and gets out of the position and now Adesanya is on his back. He attempts a triangle choke but Gastelum escapes. They’re up again. Adesanya’s now feeling in the zone again but Gastelum pressures and traps him against the cage. Adesanya escapes. Adesanya turns it on in the last minute and drops Gastelum to the floor after a high kick and a hard right hand. Gastelum is bloodied up and rocked. Adesanya attempts to finish but runs out of time. Gastelum was pretty much saved by the bell.

Adesanya finishes strong. That’s a strong way to end the bout and arguably a 10-8 round.

Absolutely amazing fight and one of the best we’ve seen this year.

Israel Adesanya def. Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46)

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