UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and former champion Robert Whittaker might have officially fought two times, but in a way, Adesanya apparently has Whittaker beat three times.
Before the fight begins, referee Herb Dean gives both fighters instructions in the center of the octagon as usual. But Adesanya seems to have seen a chance to put on a bit of psychological attack towards Whittaker.
When both of them were asked to touch gloves by Dean after getting their last-minute rundown, Whittaker put out his fist, as is customary. Adesanya, though, knocked his two hands together, as though he was playing ‘scissor, paper, rock’, before putting his hand over Whittaker’s first.
As we all know, paper beats rock.
Paper beats Rock.
Adesanya always ice-cool in the biggest moments. pic.twitter.com/LJJJ9UWSUk
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) February 13, 2022
The commentary team octagon side may not take any interest in what Adesanya did there but a lot of people from Twitter surely notice his little “win” here.
Whittaker seems not really care about that as he pushed the champion to the limit and gave Adesanya his toughest fight in the middleweight division.
But even after a grueling fight, ‘The Last Stylebender’ eventually edges the challenger and secured a close but unanimous decision on all three judges’ scorecard.
The champion seems to have buried his hatchet with Whittaker which he praised the rival after the fight for giving him a hard fight.
“I knew he was going to bring everything, because last time I took everything away from him,” Adesanya said.
“He had nothing to lose. And like I said, I’m the champ. If you want it, come get it.”
While Whittaker seems a bit disagree with the decision, he accepted it.
“I know I started off rocky, but I thought I won every round after that,” said Whittaker.
“It is what it is, but you know that what they say, don’t leave it to the judges.”
“I mix it in well, I fought my heart out, I’m happy, I’m happy that I fought my heart out, but yeah, I’m gutted, I thought I did enough,” the Australian added.
With the fight being much more competitive and the result being closer than before, fans seemingly do not have enough of these two. Would you think there will be Adesanya vs Whittaker 3?
Luthfi Prawiro is a writer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has a strong passion for combat sports and a BA in Psychology. His undergraduate thesis was on the Sports Psychology of MMA.