Israel Adesanya has defended his UFC middleweight title with a hard-fought victory over Australian foe Robert Whittaker at UFC 271.
Adesanya won the fight by unanimous decision, although two of the three judges awarded him the victory by just by a single point.
Whittaker was aggressive but was unable to break down Adesanya’s defence and control of the fight.
The Kiwi’s composure and defensive aptitude were the keys to his victory, as he was able to hold off all that Whittaker threw at him.
Adesanya had a strong first round, getting an early knockdown and striking a hard leg kick that hurt Whittaker. The Aussie tried a takedown attempt but Adesanya was able to escape.
Whittaker came out aggressive in the second, trying to land some big hooks and was able to land a couple to regain some confidence.
The Aussie took Adesanya down, but the Kiwi was able to escape and maintain control of the fight.
Adesanya survived another takedown in the third and escaped a submission attempt in the fourth.
Whittaker won the final round, but it wasn't enough to take the title.
Adesanya's victory was his fourth successful title defence since winning the belt off Whittaker in 2019.