ROUNDTABLE: Was Adesanya vs. Gastelum Fight of the Year? Where does it rank all-time?

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya
Apr 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Kelvin Gastelum (red gloves) fights Israel Adesanya (blue gloves) during UFC 236 at State Farm Arena. Adesanya won by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Was Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum the Fight of the Year so far? If not, what was and where does it rank on an all-time list?

Patrick Shaheen, Host – MMA Scope Podcast

I have to evaluate this. I will say it is the best fight I’ve seen in person. Second best goes to Gustafson vs. Cormier, and third would go to the main event of Poirier vs. Holloway 2. It is not my #1, that would go to Lawler vs McDonald 2. It very may well be second. The arena was electric, by the 3rd round it didn’t matter who fans were rooting for (and although you couldn’t hear it, plenty of Kelvin support in the crowd) we knew we were witnessing history. It has been and will be the fight of the year, amazing performance by both men!

Christian Moore, MMATorch Contributor

Yes, by far it was the fight of the year. I still stand strong that this was the best fight I’ve ever seen, but in a week or so I may feel different. But for now, I have it #1, but it most definitely is top 5 at very minimum. I almost didn’t order this show, but I would’ve regretted it. The Main is probably #2 this year besides the co-main, yet, the main talk is the Adesanya-Gastelum fight as it should be. So, it is #1 for now, but it could change.

Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I’m still a little torn on whether this fight or the Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier fight was better. I think it’s down to those two fights, though any Justin Gaethje fight is a top contender as well. Adesanya-Gastelum had great drama and momentum shifts so it’s definitely up there. As for all-time, I feel comfortable saying it’s Top 10. Top 5 feels right as well, but I’d have to really think about it. It was an amazing fight that all fight fans should see, that’s for sure.

Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor

As far as 2019 goes, yeah, Adesanya-Gastelum is the fight of the year. I can’t really think of anything else that could even touch it. Poirier-Holloway had its moments as well but the middleweight bout had much more drama. There’s a lot of 2019 left to go, but that’s going to be a tough one to beat. Prior to UFC 236, Adesanya-Silva from UFC 234 was my favorite fight this year. Perhaps Adesanya has become MMA’s Best Bout Machine.


Placing it on an all-time list is tough. If you use the Top 25 UFC fights David McGrath put together last year as a guide, I think it would be tough for Adesanya-Gastelum to crack the top 5. Top 10 I could see depending on your tastes. So I can say with some degree of confidence that Adesanya-Gastelum is one of the top 15 fights in UFC history.

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