Israel Adesanya has successfully defended his middleweight crown against his biggest rival Robert Whittaker in the main event of UFC 271 in Houston, Texas.
Adesanya relied on a steady diet of calf kicks to pick away at the challenger and showcased a tremendous takedown defense to earn the nod after five rounds. The reigning champion now has two wins over Whittaker after bagging a 49-46, 48-47, 48-47 unanimous decision win in the highly-anticipated rematch.
Whittaker, who was knocked out in their initial 2019 bout, performed exceedingly better as he showed more patience and poise. However, the former titleholder’s overt caution also led to his downfall as ‘The Last Stylebender’ was able to stay out of range while landing precise counter-attacks throughout the contest.
‘The Last Stylebender’ had a hot start as he peppered Whittaker with stinging shots and scored a knock down with a straight left. In round two, Whittaker found success by mixing in some wrestling with his attacks. However, Adesanya’s superb takedown defense shone as ‘The Reaper’ was unable to generate any meaningful offense when he finally secured a takedown at the 2:45 mark.
Although Whittaker fell short in his quest to reclaim the belt, he appears to have won the support of the Houston faithful. The pro-Adesanya crowd started cheering for the Aussie as the fight went on, while some even booed the official decision.
Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker UFC 271 post-fight comments
The win marked Israel Adesanya’s fourth defense since taking the belt from Whittaker at UFC 243. During the post-fight interview, a confident Adesanya said:
“I knew he was going to bring everything because last time I took everything away from him. He had nothing to lose. But, like I said, I’m the champ, you have to come and get it.”
Watch Adesanya’s post-fight interview below:
On the flipside, Robert Whittaker’s three-fight winning streak ended after falling short against Adesanya once again. Although he didn’t get his desired result, Whittaker appears to be satisfied with his performance. Speaking about the outcome of the fight, the Aussie contender simply said: “It is what it is.”
Watch Whittaker’s post-fight interview below:
Also ReadArticle Continues below