UFC 243: Israel Adesanya knocks out Whittaker to win middleweight title

Israel Adesanya [PHOTO CREDIT: Forbes.com]
Israel Adesanya [PHOTO CREDIT: Forbes.com]

New Zealand-based Israel Adesanya has dethroned the UFC middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker.

The Nigerian-born fighter achieved this latest feat in spectacular fashion at UFC 243 in Melbourne, Australia.

The 30-year old has now extended his perfect professional record to 18-0.

To emerge victoriously, Adesanya landed a right hook which floored Whittaker in the final seconds of the first round and ended the fight in the second of the five-round contest with a left hook.

In all, it took Adesanya 3 minutes 35 seconds to capture the undisputed UFC middleweight title in front of nearly 60,000 fans at Marvel Stadium.

As reported by the BBC, Whittaker started out throwing a host of power shots but Adesanya was loose and slick on his feet in the opening round, and delivered a stunning right hand in the final seconds that sent Whittaker crashing to the canvas as the buzzer saved the champion from a first-round defeat.

A similar counter right hook from Adesanya found its mark early in the second round as the interim champion began to turn on the heat, but a powerful left from the defending champion showed the challenger would have to be on his guard against Whittaker’s power.

Read also: 2019 U.S. Open: Serena outclasses Sharapova in first round clash

And, as the pair started to trade big shots in the middle of the octagon, Adesanya planted his feet and answered a straight right from Whittaker with a stunning right-left combination to send him down, with referee Marc Goddard stepping in to spare the Australian further punishment as the Kiwi moved in to apply the finishing touches on the ground.

A former kickboxing star, Adesanya exploded onto the global MMA scene only last year after arriving in the UFC with an undefeated 11-0 record.

“I was in the nosebleeds,” Adesanya told UFC commentator Jon Anik in his post-fight interview. “Now I made his nose bleed.

“He threw everything we expected. We had everything from his Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. We had everything up to Plan Z.”

Adesanya’s first test as undisputed middleweight champion looks set to come against Brazilian contender, Paulo Costa, who was a prominent figure at cageside on fight night.


PT Mag Campaign AD

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...

BE THE FIRST TO KNOW! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application