Israel Adesanya came to UFC 236 looking to prove himself, once and for all, on the highest level. He left the Octagon with the interim middleweight title and the fight of the year in one of the most dramatic bouts in UFC history.
Adesanya (17-0) repeatedly dropped a bloody Kelvin Gastelum late in a savage Round 5 en route to a unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46) following a see-saw battle that left the State Farm Arena crowd in hysterics on its feet.
“I was ready for war, I told y’all,” Adesanya said. “I wanted to take him out but I was ready for war because he is Mexicano. [Critics] talk s— but they ain’t ready for this.”