The middleweight title was put on the line in the rematch between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker.
After 5 rounds of fighting, the two fighters performed a pretty uneventful fight that led to some disappointment in the arena.
In the first round, the champion completely dominated the fight. Adesanya always kept octagon control and pressed the action on Whittaker.
Israel kept the pressure on the Australian fighter, while simultaneously making him miss a lot.
After punishing him with a lot of leg kicks, Adesanya landed the hardest strike of the fight.
He was able to hurt Whittaker with a straight punch that send him to the canvas.
At this level, with the gold on the line, it's a game of inches!
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) February 13, 2022
In the second round, Whittaker seemed to have found himself in the fight.
In a much more competitive round, Whittaker and Adesanya traded strikes while the champion continued to press the action.
Whitaker did manage to score a takedown but didn’t get much success with it.
Rounds three and four were pretty similar, Adesanya kept control of the octagon and kept landing hard leg kicks to Whittaker’s leg.
Near the end of the fourth round, Whittaker was able to score a back take but he wasn’t able to secure the position for long.
In round five Whittaker had his best round in the fight.
The Australian was able to land a few hard jabs on Adesanya, and for the first time of the fight, Whittaker put pressure on Adesanya, putting the champion on his heels for a few moments.
Sportsmanship at its finest ?
— ESPN (@espn) February 13, 2022
The fight went to a judge’s decision, and after five rounds of fighting, Israel Adesanya was able to perform his third title defense by getting the unanimous decision victory.
— UFC News (@UFCNews) February 13, 2022
— UFC (@ufc) February 13, 2022
At his post-fight interview, Adesanya commented that he is not looking to stay inactive, and that his next title defense could be against Jared Cannonier, after Jare’s incredible performance tonight.
Israel Adesanya calls to return in June. Adesanya-Cannonier is going to be fun. #UFC271
— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) February 13, 2022