Adesanya relied on a steady diet of calf kicks to knock out the challenger and displayed an excellent knockdown defense to earn the nod after five innings. The defending champion now has two wins over Whittaker after winning unanimously 49-46, 48-47, 48-47 in the much-anticipated rematch.
Whittaker, who was knocked down in their first match of 2019, performed wildly better as he showed more patience and poise. However, the ex-leader’s excessive caution also led to his downfall as ‘The Last Stylebender’ was able to stay out of range while performing precise counterattacks throughout the competition.
‘The Last Stylebender’ got off to a sizzling start as he hit Whittaker with continuous hits and scored the knock-out with a left-hand drive. In the second half, Whittaker succeeded in getting into some wrestling with his attacks. However, Adesanya’s superb defense shone through as ‘The Reaper’ failed to produce any meaningful attacks as he finally managed to get a knockdown at the 2:45 mark.
Although Whittaker failed in his quest to regain the belt, he seems to have won the support of the Houston faithful. The pro-Adesanya crowd began cheering for Aussie as the fight progressed, while some even booed the official decision.
Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker UFC 271 post-fight comments
The win marks Israel Adesanya’s fourth defense since taking the belt from Whittaker at UFC 243. In the post-fight interview, Adesanya confidently said:
“I know he’s going to bring everything because last time I took everything from him. He has nothing to lose. But, like I said, I’m the champ, you have to come and get it. .”
Watch Adesanya’s post-match interview below:
On the other hand, Robert Whittaker’s three-fight winning streak ended after losing to Adesanya again. Despite not getting the results he wanted, Whittaker seemed satisfied with his performance. Talking about the outcome of the fight, the Australian candidate simply said: “How is it.”
Watch Whittaker’s post-match interview below:
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