This was seriously impressive from the new undisputed middleweight champion of the world… it’s his time now…
It’s The Last Stylebender’s time and we’re all living in it. Not since Conor McGregor burst onto the scene has a fighter conquered a division like Israel Adesanya. Incredibly the Nigerian-born, New Zealander only made his UFC debut in February 2018. Now he’s the undisputed middleweight champion.
The interim champion Adesanya took on undisputed champion Robert Whittaker in the main event of UFC 243 in Melbourne, Australia. ‘The Reaper’ hadn’t fought for 16 months, with his last victory coming in a war against Yoel Romero. The big questions were how would that time out affect Whittaker’s preparation and how would he deal with Adesanya’s reach?
Meanwhile, Adesanya embraces the spotlight. But with that comes immense pressure. He had a lot to prove against Whittaker, but he came through in style. Check out the brutal finish below and highlights from the contest.
#IsraelAdesanya IS NOW THE NEW UNDISPUTED UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION ‼️
— Javier Urquieta (@DeJesusUrquieta) October 6, 2019
Adesanya had a massive reach advantage over Whittaker. ‘The Reaper’ tried to combat this by putting on an intense pace from the start. He tried to disrupt Adesanya’s ability to find his distance and get inside to unleash his strikes. For the majority of the round, it actually worked.
But Adesanya was able to steal the round with a brutal knockdown at the very end. The bell rang and referee Marc Goddard intervened, allowing Whittaker to survive. It could have been a crucial round for ‘The Last Stylebender if it went to a decision. He had been behind until that point.
— Ace (@4rehctipeca) October 6, 2019
Despite looking shaky on the stool, Whittaker came out strong again. He pushed a hard pace, but Adesanya’s head movement was beautiful. The City Kickboxing product moved like water and landed hard counter shots. The two men were throwing very heavy shots so when the finish came, it was violent.
Whittaker threw caution to the win and cut inside, landing a hard hook. It caught Adesanya, jolting him, but he was able to react with two vicious hooks of his own. ‘Bobby Knuckles’ was out on his feet before he hit the ground. Adesanya moved in to smash him with ground-and-pound before Marc Goddard flung him aside. Now he’s the new undisputed UFC middleweight champion of the world.
This was impressive.
— ᴛʜᴇ ᴇǫᴜᴀʟɪsᴇʀ ⚖️ (@TheDilichi) October 6, 2019
This was a scintillating performance by Adesanya. His technical striking and movement are beyond anybody else’s on the roster today. Combined with his good looks and natural charisma, it looks like the UFC has a new star on their hands. Expect to see a lot of him in the media over the coming months. He called out Brazil’s Paulo Costa:
“I’ve got this overly inflated balloon animal next”
Everything about Adesanya was perfect on the night. The choreographed walkout, the knockout and the callout. Only time will tell but he could be the organization’s biggest star since the Ronda Rousey/Conor McGregor heyday. Jon Jones definitely won’t be happy. That’s a needle in his popularity balloon for sure. It’s Adesanya’s time now.