UFC 234 on Saturday night was always set up to feature some intense middleweight action, but unfortunately, it will not just be one fight bringing that action instead of two. Just hours before the event in Melbourne, Australia, was set to take place, it was announced that middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was forced to pull out from a hernia that he sustained late Friday evening. So, there will be no 185-pound title defense closing out the show in Australia. 

However, the new main event is still a middleweight showdown that everyone has been looking forward to. Former middleweight champ Anderson Silva will battle one of the most dangerous strikers in the promotion right now, and someone a lot like him, Israel Adesanya. The bout will still only be contested for three rounds, and even though the title will not be up for grabs on Saturday, the new main event will still tell us a bit about the future of the division. 

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Let’s take a look at the complete fight card from Melbourne with the latest odds from Bovada.

UFC 234 fight card, odds

Favorite Underdog Weightclass

Israel Adesanya -650

Anderson Silva +425

Middleweight

Ricky Simon -125

Rani Yahya -105

Bantamweight

Montana De La Rosa -260

Nadia Kassem +200

Women’s flyweight

Jimmy Crute -140

Sam Alvey +110

Light heavyweight

Devonte Smith -260

Dong Hyung Ma +200

Lightweight

Shane Young -305

Austin Arnett +235

Featherweight

Kai Kara France -305

Raulian Paiva +235

Flyweight

Kyung Ho Kang -400 Teruto Ishihara +300 Bantamweight
Lando Vannata -365 Marcos Rosa +275 Light heavyweight
Jalin Turner -260 Callan Potter +200 Lightweight
Jonathan Martinez -170 Wuliji Buren +140 Bantamweight

With a big card on tap, our experts took a crack at picking each of the main card fights. Here are your pick makers: Brian Campbell (combat sports writer), Matthew Coca (producer), Michael Mormile (producer), Jack Crosby (editor) and Brandon Wise (editor). 

UFC 234 predictions        

Fight Campbell Mormile Coca Crosby Wise
Adesanya vs. Silva Adesanya Adesanya Adesanya Adesanya Adesanya
Simon vs. Yahya Yahya Yahya Yahya Simon Yahya
De La Rosa vs. Kassem De La Rosa De La Rosa Kassem De La Rosa De La Rosa
Crute vs. Alvey Alvey Crute Crute Alvey Crute
Overall (2018) 33-36-0 42-27-0 37-32-0 34-35-0 41-28-0

More UFC 234: Silva recounts biggest moments

Wise on why Adesanya will win: It almost seems to be set up too perfectly. ‘The Last Stylebender’ has everything is his favor heading into a co-main event against the former champion now at 43 years old. If there is a concern, it’s that his flash and arrogance may not do him any favors against somebody he has modeled his style after in that Silva may know the precise moments to land his counter shots. But in a spot like this, tailor-made for his next-in-line status to be solidified, picking against Adesanya seems like a fool’s errand. The younger, more athletic fighter will prove to be too much for the aging veteran, who is 1-4, 1 NC since 2013. Adesanya via TKO1.

Who wins Silva vs. Adesenya? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed UFC 234 picks for every bout, all from the sizzling expert who’s up nearly $18,000 on MMA in the last nine months alone.

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