Israel Adesanya is the new UFC middleweight champion as he finished Robert Whittaker at UFC 243.
It seemed like it was just a matter of when Adesanya would finish Whittaker. In the last seconds of the first round, Adesanya dropped him with a huge shot but the bell sounded as Whittaker hit the ground.
The finish came in the second round once both fighters had an exchange in the pocket and Adesanya dropped him with the counter right hook before following up with strikes on the ground.
The two fighters met in a lightweight bout at the UFC 243 pay-per-view from Sydney, Australia at the Marvel Stadium.
Peep the highlights of the fight courtesy of the UFC’s official Twitter account:
Whittaker was originally slated to defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum at the UFC 234 pay-per-view. However, he had to pull out of the fight at the last minute due to a hernia and collapsed bowel. The UFC champ was on a nine-fight win streak heading into this bout.
Whittaker won the interim middleweight title when he beat Yoel Romero back at UFC 213 in July of 2017 by unanimous decision. The Las Vegas-based promotion booked this fight yet again in the main event for the UFC 225 pay-per-view event at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. This is where Romero suffered a devastating split decision loss to Whittaker.
The rising contender became a UFC middleweight champion when he picked up a decision win over Kelvin Gastelum in the co-headliner of the UFC 236 pay-per-view event. The show went down on April 13, 2019 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Heading into this fight, he fought six times in less than a year-and-a-half total in the UFC and won all six bouts.
MMA News is providing ongoing coverage of UFC 243. We’ve got you covered with live results, video highlights, and post-fight tidbits.