UFC 243: Adesanya KOs Whittaker for Undisputed Crown

Less than two years after making his UFC debut, Israel Adesanya is the king of the UFC’s middleweight division.

In the most anticipated event and fight in Oceanic MMA history, New Zealand’s Adesanya, entering as interim champion, defeated defending UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker of Australia in the main event of UFC 243 to unify the championship.

After they traded kicks to start the opening round, Whittaker fired just about everything he could. Every punch he threw seemed to be an overhand or haymaker, attempting to rock Adesanya and end his undefeated record early.

While he threw the most in the first frame, Adesanya landed the turning point of the fight before the horn, knocking Whittaker down with a right hand. Had it not been for that horn, Whittaker could have been finished then and there.

Whittaker came out firing heavy in the second round again, but his punches were barely touching “The Last Stylebender.” Adesanya waited for his moment and traded well before delivering a right hand that dropped Whittaker again. After a couple of follow-ups, the bout was waved off.

Paulo Costa, who was sitted at cageside, appears to be first in line for the new champ. Adesanya called him out and taunted him from the Octagon, while Costa yelled from his seat.

Main Card (ESPN+ PPV, 10 p.m. ET)

Israel Adesanya def. Robert Whittaker via KO (Rd. 2, 3:33)

Dan Hooker def. Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Sergey Spivak def. Tai Tuivasa via submission (arm-triangle choke) (Rd. 2, 3:14)

Dhiego Lima def. Luke Jumeau via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Yorgan De Castro def. Justin Tafa via KO (Rd. 1, 2:10)

Preliminary Card (ESPN2, 8 p.m. ET)

Jake Matthews def. Rostem Akman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Callan Potter def. Maki Pitolo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Brad Riddell def. Jamie Mullarkey via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-26)

Megan Anderson def. Zarah Fairn dos Santos via submission (triangle choke) (Rd. 1, 3:57)

Early Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)

Ji Yeon Kim def. Nadia Kassem via TKO (Rd. 2, 4:59)

Khalid Taha def. Bruno Silva via submission (arm-triangle choke) (Rd. 3, 3:00)

 

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