Israel Adesanya Out Classes Brad Tavares Over 5 Rounds to Cap Off TUF 27 Finale

Highly touted middleweight Israel Adesanya used a diverse striking attack to pick apart Brad Tavares in the main event at "The Ultimate Fighter" 27 finale

Just three fights into his UFC career, highly touted prospect Israel Adesanya already has his first win over a top 10 ranked fighter.

On Friday night at “The Ultimate Fighter” 27 Finale in Las Vegas, Adesanya showcased his diverse striking attack to pick apart veteran middleweight Brad Tavares to earn a unanimous decision win in the main event on the card.

While Adesanya definitely had the reach advantage not to mention a massive background in kickboxing, it was still a step up in competition to face someone as savvy as Tavares in only his third UFC fight.

It certainly didn’t seem like he was still a UFC novice as Adesanya was like a surgeon with his striking attacks as he peppered Tavares with accurate punches while also punishing him to the body repeatedly with devastating kicks.

Tavares did his best to throw Adesanya off his game by attempting to mix in some takedowns but “The Last Style Bender” was quick to evade the ground game for the most part throughout the five round fight.

On the feet, Adesanya continuously landed the better shots throughout the fight with Tavares struggling to find a home for his best punches.

By the time the fifth round was underway, Adesanya had sliced up Tavares from head to toe, leaving the former “Ultimate Fighter” veteran bleeding from his face without any answers to counter his opponent.

When it was over, Adesanya recorded a unanimous decision victory to move his UFC record to a perfect 3-0 as he will undoubtedly crack the top 10 rankings next week.

“All the punters and all the experts said he’s [Adesanya] only had two fights in the UFC, he’s a legend in the game from New Zealand. Tavares is a tough dude but I proved everyone wrong,” Adesanya said after his win. “I feel great, I’ve got more gas in the tank. I am happy with the win and my team is happy.

“This was my first main event and this is only my third fight in the UFC, I am just getting warmed up, I’ve got more up my sleeve. I’ll see you guys tomorrow at UFC 226.”

Adesanya has made it no secret that hopes his next fight will come against another “Ultimate Fighter” veteran in Uriah Hall, assuming he can get past Brazilian knockout artist Paulo Costa on Saturday night.

No matter who comes next, Adesanya has certainly sent notice to the middleweight division that a new contender has arrived on the scene.

Elsewhere on the card, Mike Trizano and Brad Katona were crowned the latest winners of “The Ultimate Fighter” competition as they both won their fights by decision.

Katona was definitely the more dominant fighter as he out worked former housemate Jay Cucciniello on the feet and on the ground to earn a lopsided win to earn the featherweight title from the reality show.

Trizano wasn’t quite as exciting but he still got the job done as he eked out a split decision against Joe Giannetti to get his contract to join the UFC roster.

Here are the full results from “The Ultimate Fighter” 27 Finale in Las Vegas


MAIN EVENT: Israel Adesanya def. Brad Tavares by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)

Mike Trizano def. Joe Giannetti by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Brad Katona def. Jay Cucciniello by unanimous decision (30-26 x3)

Alex Caceres def. Martin Bravo by split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Roxanne Modafferi def. Barb Honchak by TKO at 3:32, R2

Alessio Di Chirico def. Julian Marquez by split decision (27-30, 29-28 x2)


Montana De La Rosa def. Rachael Ostovich by submission (rear naked choke at 4:21, R3

Luis Pena def. Richie Smullen by submission (guillotine choke) at 3:32, R1

John Gunther def. Allan Zuniga by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)

Bryce Mitchell def. Tyler Diamond by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)

Steven Peterson def. Matt Bessette by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Gerald Meerschaert def. Oskar Piechota by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:55, R2

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.