Israel Adesanya TKOs Robert Whittaker in Round 2 at UFC 243

Israel Adesanya is the new undisputed UFC middleweight champion.

“The Last Stylebender” knocked out Robert Whittaker in round two of the main event at UFC 243, held at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on Sunday, October 6.

It was a striking masterclass between the two middleweights. Whittaker, bouncing in and out as he attacked, was throwing heavy hands at the evasive Adesanya. Based on aggression, “The Reaper” may have edged the majority of round one, however Adesanya punctuated its conclusion by dropping the champion right on the bell.

Round two, Whittaker resumed pressing Adesanya seemingly recovered from the late blow of the previous round. Adesanya’s output picked up and bloodied the champ’s nose. He threw a high kick which Whittaker blocked, though it’s impact was clearly still felt. They trade blows and Adesanya lands cleaner with a left hand that drops Whittaker and finishes the fight at 3:33.

After a meteoric rise to the title after making his UFC debut just last February, Adesanya remains undefeated at 18-0.

“He threw everything we expected,” Adesanya said in his post-fight interview. “Like I said in the New York fight, we had everything from his plan A, plan B, plan C. In this fight we had it all the way up to Z. Man, it’s honestly unreal. I’ve said this shit for so long.”

It seems as though Brazilian Paulo Costa, who was seated cageside, is next on Adesanya’s radar.

“You know who’s next. I got this overly inflated balloon animal. This heavy-ass Ricky Martin wannabe. Borrhaccina. You better not step in here ‘cause this is my f***ing cage tonight. It’s my octagon,” Adesanya said. “Trust me, when I’m done with him, he’ll really look like Ricky Martin: botched.”

Whittaker, now 21-5, assured the Australian crowd he’d be back.

“Hats off to Adesanya, a great striker,” he said. “I thought I was doing pretty well until I got caught. Hell, I’m only 28, I’ll see him in a fight or two. Thanks for everybody that came out today. Thanks to my family, thanks to my coaches, everybody did great getting me here. Honestly, this is the best I’ve ever felt. I didn’t get the W today, but I’m not going anywhere.”

I’m a Curtin University writing graduate born and bred in beautiful Perth, WA. My interest in combat sports started with an invitation to a Ladies’ BJJ class. It wasn’t long before I started to follow MMA religiously. Although I love training, I’m definitely more writer than fighter. I wanted to tell the incredible stories involved, so I got involved. I’m really passionate about covering the Australian scene and being a (teeny, tiny) part of growing it.