Israel Adesanya Defeats Whittaker to Retain Middleweight Belt

Israel Adesanya retained his middleweight belt on Saturday night after he defeated Robert Whittaker via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) at #UFC271.

Ahead of the match, Adesanya had been declared favorite by many pundits because he had defeated Whittaker three years ago. He also holds a 11-fight UFC win streak at middleweight.

The Nigerian-born New Zealander did not fail expectations as he employed his height and reach advantage to counter Whittaker’s boxing before eventually emerging winner in the close fight which took place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

The fight marks Adesanya’s fourth title defense. He won all fights against Yoel Romero, Paolo Costa and Marvin Vettori.

Adesanya kicks Whittaker.

Speaking after the fight, Adesanya rated his performance as a seven out of 10. “Not bad,” he said, “good night in the office. Good chess match.”

Whittaker claimed he did enough to win the match, but Adesanya disagreed with the assertion replying, “he did not win that fight, and he knows it”.

“He needs to go have a shower as well and reflect and realize that’s not true. … You don’t do ‘enough’ to win the title. You take the belt. That’s how this works.”

“We’re just two guys trying to be the best in the world,” Adesanya said. “Tonight, I was the best in the world.”

Whittaker is however not giving in to defeat and he promises to get a third match and an eventual win against his nemesis.

“You can see in this fight how much I’ve come [from the first fight], to the point where I think I beat him,” Whittaker said. “I’m just excited for the future. I believe there is no ceiling for me.”

Whittaker added it was “inevitable” that there will be a third fight with Adesanya.

“I think I am the person to beat him,” Whittaker said. “My mission stays the same. Beat the next guy and then the next guy.”

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