It was extra aggressive the second time round, however the consequence was the identical.
New Zealand’s Israel Adesanya earned a second victory over Robert Whittaker on Saturday night time in the principle occasion of UFC 271 in a tightly contested affair.
The judges’ scores at Toyota Middle in Houston went 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 for a unanimous choice in favor of Adesanya.
They first met at UFC 243 in Melbourne, the place Adesanya took the middleweight title by defeating Whittaker by way of second-round knockout in October 2019.
Adesanya (22-1) steamrolled Sydney’s Whittaker (23-6) in that first assembly and within the opening spherical Saturday night time, it appeared one other straightforward night time’s work was coming, as Adesanya scored a knockdown and didn’t permit Whittaker to get any offense going.
Whittaker, nevertheless, discovered success together with his grappling sport, scoring a number of takedowns and practically securing a choke within the fourth spherical. However he might by no means fairly get in place to complete, and Adesanya’s incessant kicks to Whittaker’s head took a toll because the combat went on, and the champ held on to file his fourth profitable title protection.
“I knew he was going to convey every part, as a result of he has nothing to lose,” Adesanya stated. “I’m the champ, if you need it come get it.”
The night’s co-feature bout was an exhilarating heavyweight slugfest that delivered on its promise of fireworks.
Australia’s Tai Tuivasa (15-3) took every part the UFC’s all-time knockout king Derrick Lewis (26-9) might dish out and rallied to win by way of a shocking knockout of his personal within the second spherical.
The opening spherical noticed each land heavy photographs, and in a little bit of foreshadowing, Tuivasa managed to maintain his wits whereas consuming massive Lewis hammers and fired again a number of of his personal.
Within the second, Lewis put Tuivasa on wobbly legs, however earlier than Houston’s personal might add to his UFC file 13 KOs, Tuivasa regained his composure and began touchdown. He landed an ideal standing elbow to the jaw that despatched Lewis crashing face-first to the mat, ending it at 1:40.
“That’s the king of knockouts, a lot respect to Derrick Lewis,” stated Tuivasa, who has 5 straight wins, all by way of knockout. “However like I stated, I’m not coming, I’m taking up.”
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