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Israel Adesanya beats Whittaker to become undisputed UFC’s world middleweight champion


Robert Whittaker of Australia (L) punches Israel Adesanya of New Zealand (R) during the middleweight title bout of the UFC 243 fight night in Melbourne on October 6, 2019. (Photo by ASANKA BRENDON RATNAYAKE / AFP) / — IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE —

As he predicted, Israel ‘the last Stylebender’ Adesanya lived up to the hype yesterday as he knocked out defending champion, Robert Whitaker to become the world’s best UFC fighter in the middleweight category.

In front of more than 50,000 UFA fans, the Last Stylebender unified the 185-pound title yesterday with a second-round knock out stoppage of Whittaker in the main event of UFC 243. And he did it with counters.

Following a long layoff, Whittaker seemed to fight with a style we’ve never seen from before – jumping in with wild hooks and trying his best to pressure the longer fighter with power shots. He didn’t wrestle. He didn’t even threaten to grapple. He just seemed to mirror what Kelvin Gastelum used to find success against Adesanya. But Adesanya adjusted.

Whittaker had his moments and landed some big shots. But Adesanya landed a short right counter right at the end of the first round that put Whittaker on his butt. In the second, he landed the counter again. And when it came time, he used a deft left-hand counter to put Whittaker down again. This time there was no horn to save him, and he got pounded out.

“I was in the nosebleeds. Now I made his nose bleed,” Adesanya said after the fight.Adesanya said he could have landed a couple more shots on Whittaker before the bell sounded.

“I held my fist up,” Adesanya said at the post-fight press conference.“That’s stupid. I should have punched him until the referee jumped on him. I guess the referee saved him on that one.”He will now look to defend his title against ‘Ricky Martin wannabe’ Paulo Costa, who recently beat Yoel ‘Soldier of God’ Romero to earn the next title shot.

Following his victory, Adesanya is now rated as one of the greatest stars in the history of the sport. He now dreams of becoming the first fighter to earn $100 million dollars in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. However, what is uppermost in Whitaker’s mind is rematch with the Nigerian fighter.
“Obviously I’m disappointed, but I took the fight to him,” Whittaker said at the post-fight press conference. “Me and him are two of the best strikers in the world, and it was tit for tat, and I got caught. It happens. He beat me tonight, but I’m 28. This is my first loss in the division and trust me when I say I’m not going anywhere,” he said.

“I wasn’t in awe of his striking, and I was confident in my own,” he said. “I was having great success. I need to work on that check-hook defense. We went out there and put our hearts on it, and it happens. We’re two of the best strikers in the world together, and that’s what happens. Someone is going to get caught, and unfortunately tonight it was me.”

But it appears the unbeaten Brazilian Paulo Henrique Costa will be the next man to fight Adesanya. Pundits have already started predicting the possible outcome of a bout between Adesanya and Costa with majority giving it to the Nigerian. An elated Pa Femi Adesanya, who was in the ringside to watch his son become the undisputed champion of the world, said he knew his son would come good despite the hype surrounding Whittaker.“I feel great today because it is a dream cone true. I want to thank everybody that made this day possible, including Israel’s team, friends and fans.“The whole family is happy because Nigeria is on top,” he said.


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