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Feb. 6, 2019
Look Back At Eight Stand-Out Fights From The Stars Of UFC 234
Athletes
By Gavin Porter

If you believe that styles make fights, then you’re not going to want to miss UFC 234 from Melbourne, Australia.

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will attempt to defend his championship belt on home soil against the dangerous Kelvin Gastelum. In addition, the rising Israel Adesanya will go to war with the legendary Anderson Silva. While you can expect big time fireworks from the main and co-main event, there are some exciting up-and-comers to keep your eye on as well.

Get ready for UFC 234 by watching the past performances of some of the cards biggest stars and top prospects. Here's the collection of fights to watch before the action starts in Melbourne: https://www.ufc.tv/category/ufc-234-fights-to-watch

Robert Whittaker vs Jacare Souza
UFC on Fox 24 – April 15th, 2017
KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 15: (L-R) Robert Whittaker of New Zealand punches Jacare Souza of Brazil in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Sprint Center on April 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After moving up from welterweight, Whittaker rattled off an impressive run of decisive victories against the likes of Brad Tavares, Uriah Hall and Derek Brunson. Earning “The Reaper” a main event showdown with the explosive Jacare Souza in Kansas City, Missouri. Whittaker would make the most of his opportunity showing the entire world that he was ready for a shot at the belt.

Kelvin Gastelum vs Michael Bisping
UFC Fight Night 122 – November 25th, 2017
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 25: (L-R) Opponents Michael Bisping of England and Kelvin Gastelum face offprior to their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside the Mercedes-Benz Arena on November 25, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Gastelum was originally scheduled to face off with fellow UFC 234 middleweight Anderson Silva, but two weeks from fight night it was former champion Michael Bisping who would answer the call. Coming off a submission loss to Chris Weidman, Gastelum would deliver a signature performance against “The Count”.

Order UFC 234 here: http://ppv.ufc.tv/ppv/234/

Israel Adesanya vs Derek Brunson
UFC 230 – November 3rd, 2018
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 02: Opponents Derek Brunson and Israel Adesanya of Nigeria face off during the UFC 230 weigh-in inside Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 2, 2018 in New York, New York. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Adesanya said he wanted to make a splash in 2018, but lucky for fight fans it was more of a tidal wave. “The Last Stylebender” debuted with a stunning TKO of Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221 then followed that performance by impressively defeating Marvin Vettori and Brad Tavares. But it was under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden that Adesanya would announce that the hype was real, as he delivered a stunning performance against knockout artist Derek Brunson.

Anderson Silva vs Stephan Bonnar
UFC 153 – October 13, 2012
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - OCTOBER 13: (L-R) Opponents Anderson Silva and Stephan Bonnar touch gloves before their light heavyweight fight at UFC 153 inside HSBC Arena on October 13, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“The Spider” might be the greatest fighter of all-time. And while there is plenty of evidence to support that claim, an easy way to silence doubters is to put on a Silva highlight reel. Unfortunately for The Ultimate Fighter star Stephan Bonnar, he would add to Silva’s resume when the two duked it out in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ricky Simon vs Montel Jackson
UFC 227– August 4th, 2018
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 04: (R-L) Ricky Simon kicks Montel Jackson in their bantamweight fight during the UFC 227 event inside Staples Center on August 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Simon came onto the UFC scene after an impressive win on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Since then, the bantamweight prospect took care of business against Merab Dvalishvili and put the division on notice when he dominated Montel Jackson at UFC 227.

Jimmy Crute vs Paul Craig
UFC Fight Night 142 – December 1st, 2018
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 02: (R-L) Jimmy Crute of Australia punches Paul Craig of Scotland in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Adelaide Entertainment Centre on December 2, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Fresh-off his DWTNCS victory, Jimmy Crute made his UFC debut on the main card of UFC Adelaide. With the home crowd cheering him on Crute thrived in the moment, securing a memorable last second finish against Paul Craig.

Devonte Smith vs Julian Erosa
UFC Fight Night 139 – November 10th, 2018
GOLDEN, CO - NOVEMBER 09: (L-R) Opponents Devonte Smith and Julian Erosa faceoff during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in on November 9, 2018 in Golden, Colorado. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After earning his way into the UFC on DWTNCS, Smith wanted to prove to the world that he was ready for the big stage. On the UFC’s 25th anniversary card he did just that, decimating former TUF competitor Julian Erosa in less than a minute.

Lando Vannata vs Matt Frevola
UFC 230 – November 3rd, 2018
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: (R-L) Lando Vannata and Matt Frevola react after the conclusion of their lightweight bout during the UFC 230 event inside Madison Square Garden on November 3, 2018 in New York, New York. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

If the fights on UFC 234 are anything like what the world saw when Vannata and Frevola squared off in New York last November, then we’re in for a treat. In a back and forth thrilling duel, both Vannata and Frevola fought to a draw that had fans clamoring for more “Groovy” and “Steamrolla”. If not for an absolute war between Jacare Souza and Chris Weidman, Vannata vs Frevola would have earned Fight of The Night honors.

Watch the full UFC 234 collection on UFC Fight Pass: https://www.ufc.tv/category/ufc-234-fights-to-watch

The UFC 234 exclusive Fight Pass early prelims begin at 6:30pm/3:30pm ETPT, followed by the UFC 234 prelims on ESPN at 8pm/5pm ETPT.

The UFC 234 main card will air live on Pay-Per-View at 10pm/7pm ETPT. Order UFC 234 here: http://ppv.ufc.tv/ppv/234/

Gavin Porter is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com, follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCNews