Israel Adesanya Wins Rematch with Robert Whittaker, Defends Middleweight Belt at UFC 271
Subscribe to ESPN + right here and then you can stream UFC 271 live on your smart TV, PC, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app. Israel Adesanya took a very different route to win his return date with Robert Whittaker. The City Kickboxing veteran overcame his opponent in five very competitive rounds to maintain his crown in the middleweight division at the UFC 271 Championship at the Toyota Center in Houston on Saturday night. All three judges in the cage scored for Adesanya: 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46. It was a long way from their first meeting when Adesanya won the λ 185 title with a second round of Whittaker KO at UFC 243 in October 2019.
“I knew he would bring everything because the last time I took everything from him,” Adesanya said. “And he had nothing to lose. Like I said, I’m the champion. If you want it, come and get it. “
Adesanya (22-1, 11-1 UFC) was at his best in the first round when he repeatedly cut Whittaker’s leg with low kicks and seated him with a laser straight to the left. While for a while it seemed like a match could be in progress, Whittaker (23-6, 14-4 UFC) showed his determination during the match, attacking with a left jab and left hook while effectively combining takedowns and clinch work. Although “The Reaper” could not keep Adesanya down for a significant amount of time, the different aspects of his offense were enough to make the fight interesting.
“I know I started with a difficult position in the first round, but I feel like I did every round after that,” Whittaker said. “I am just happy to have fought with my heart and left it here. “I thought I did enough (to win).”
Eventually, Adesanya’s variegated blow and control of the cage was enough to nod, as he continued to attack Whittaker’s feet throughout the match while combining other attacks when the opportunity arose. In the aftermath of his latest triumph, Adesanya aimed for a comeback in June against Jared Cannonier, who defeated Derek Brunson earlier in the game.
Tuivasa scores a goal against Lewis
Tai Tuivasa is the rare fighter who went from finger to toe in a slugfest with Derrick Lewis and lived to tell the story.
In fact, the likeable Australian did much more than that: He dropped Lewis, the all-time leading knockout Ultimate Fighting Championship, to his hometown at tonight’s heavyweight co-main event. A vicious elbow on the fence by Tuivasa (14-3, 8-3 UFC) sent Lewis (26-9, 17-7 UFC) to the canvas, bringing an immediate end to the 1:40 fight in Round 2.
“This is the king of knockouts. With much respect to Derrick. But as I said: I’m young and up and coming and I’m taking over now, “Tuivasa said.
“I like to throw elbows. I like to be raw. “I’m always down to get down, baby.”
Tuivasa had to survive heavy fire to win its fifth consecutive UFC victory. Lewis performed a trip takedown in lap 1 and then unloaded with a series of right hands on the mat. A smaller fighter may not have survived the blows, but Tuivasa returned to his feet to swing and both heavyweights reached the final horn.
Tuivasa was then on defense early in the second period when a Lewis combination made him retreat to the fence. A fierce exchange ensued and Tuivasa shook “The Black Beast” with one elbow before pushing his enemy into the fence and delivering the decisive blow.
Cannonier Elbows Bludgeon Brunson
Jared Cannonier has been waged for the No. 1 spot in the UFC middleweight division, writing an emphatic ending to his colleague Derek Brunson. The MMA Lab product led Branson unconscious with a trio of brutal elbows on canvas at 4:29 in Round 2. “The Killa Gorilla” was the winner of five of his last six appearances in the Octagon.
Branson (23-8, 14-6 UFC) implemented his racing plan in the opening corner, tying the Cannonier (15-5, 8-5 UFC) twice and putting him on a right hook late in the season. . However, Branson’s inability to finish his enemy with a bare chuck that followed in seconds proved costly. The North Carolina native’s body language changed early in the second round when he lowered the Cannonier and then appeared to be surprised by a right hook when the fighters returned to their feet.
From there, Cannonier repeatedly marked his opponent with his right hand before crashing Brunson with a short standing elbow and then a close-up punch at close range. Cannonier then pushed Brunson onto the mat, tied his right hand and unloaded the match fat from the top. Branson sees a winning streak of five games end in defeat.
“Moicano” Rocks, submits Hernandez
Former featherweight fighter Renato Carneiro won for the third time in four 155-pound appearances, beating Factory X member Alexander Hernandez with a bare chuck. “Moicano” forced Hernandez to leave the match at 1:23 of Round 2. Carneiro’s last four triumphs in the UFC came through a chuck.
Hernandez (13-5, 5-4 UFC) appeared to be slowing down slowly in lap 1 when he returned to his feet after being lowered and put Carneiro (16-4-1, 8-4 UFC) on his heels with a mix of punches and kicks. The tide changed in the second period as Carneiro shook Hernandez with a pair of clean right hands and then faced a shot of despair with his knee in the body. The Brazilian then pushed his man into the canvas, jumped to the choke ending the fight and caused the tapout in a short time.
Green Sweeps Scorecards Against Haqparast
Bobby Green’s unique boxing style led him to a clear unanimous verdict against Tristar Gym spokesman Nasrat Haqparast at a featured lightweight meeting. The former King of the Cage holder swept the cards with a 30-27 trio. “King” has won five of his last seven appearances at the UFC.
It was a classic Green show (29-12, 10-7-1 UFC) in many ways. With his hands low, he repeatedly separated the Haqparat guard with straight fists as he slipped and rolled away from many of his opponent’s most dangerous offers. Over time, Haqparast’s face was damaged by Green’s attack, as his face was flushed and his nose was bloodied. While Haqparast (13-5, 4-3 UFC) continued to push forward until the final horn, he was unable to respond to the performance from the Green-stic-and-move approach, losing his second consecutive game.
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