As he said it will happen, Israel Adesanya ‘The Last Stylebender’, defeated Robert Whitaker to become the world’s best UFC fighter in the middleweight category.
Not falling short of the hype, Adesanya in the presence of 50,000 UFA fans unified the 185-pound title on Sunday, October 6, with a second-round knock out stoppage of Whittaker in the main event of UFC 243.
Whittaker in deploying a fighting style the viewers have never seen before jumped in with wild hooks and tried his best to pressure Adesanya with power shots. Just like the Kelvin Gastelum win against the Last Stylebender, Whittaker did not struggle or wrestle. However, Adesanya flipped the script.
Although Whittaker landed some big shots, Adesanya gave a shot right counter at the end of the first round that laded Whittaker on his backside. In the second, he landed the counter again. And when it came a 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,” the Last Stylebender said after the fight at the post-fight press conference.
“I held my fist up, that’s stupid. I should have punched him until the referee jumped on him. I guess the referee saved him on that one.”
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 a rematch with the Nigerian fighter.
Whittaker at the post-fight press conference said: “Obviously I’m disappointed, but I took the fight to him.”
“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 trusts 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 defence. 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.”