Israel Adesanya Defends Middleweight title in UFC 271

Joe Paige | Sports Editor


Houston was buzzing all last week in anticipation for title fight at UFC 271 where middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and former champ Robert Whittaker would go five full rounds in their second battle in the Octagon, Adesanya knocked out Robert Whittaker in their first fight at UFC 243 in spectacular fashion and has recently become one of the UFC’s biggest stars since carrying the belt. Since then, Whittaker has won 3 straight fights and is looking to reclaim the middleweight belt, last year around this time Adesanya got bored with dominating the middleweights and took a shot at the light heavyweight division but would end up ultimately failing Jan Blachowicz who’s currently second in light heavyweight UFC rankings. Whittaker certainly fought better than their first go in 2019, but he still came short by unanimous decision defeat, 48-47, 48-47, 49-46. But the fight was still tense and incredibly close, so much so that the crowd disliked the decision so much they started to boo thinking Whittaker was the true winner. In the beginning Houston fans were drowning in the Adesanya Kool-Aid all with very good reason, but that changed as the battle went on and had moments of a possible upset. When the fight ended the two shared a word, Adesanya later in his post-fight press conference revealed what he said to Whittaker as the fifth round was about to finish. It was a close but clear victory for Adesanya, one that didn’t consist of as much spectacle as their last bout but still was a smooth win for the champ. Regarding what’s next for The Last Stylebender when asked directly after the fight how soon he’d like to come back he said June but in the post-fight presser, UFC president Dana White also said he’d like to make the match, though he wasn’t clear on if June was possible. It was another step for Adesanya’s goal to lap the contenders in the middleweight division, his next opponent will most likely be against Jared Cannonier who fought right before the main event last weekend against Derek Brunson and is currently ranked third in UFCs middleweight rankings.