Nigerian-born mixed martial arts fighter, Israel Adesanya, has been crowned the Undisputed UFC Middleweight World Champion after defeating the former champion, Robert Whittaker, in just his 7th UFC fight.
Israel, who was the interim champion before the fight, dethroned UFC middleweight titleholder, Whittaker, with a stunning knockout at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium.
'Stylebender', as he is popular known, dropped his opponent in the second round of their UFC 243 bout to send the crowd into wild jubilation.
The win for the 30-year-old was witnessed on Sunday by a UFC world-record crowd of 57,127, eclipsing the previous best of 56,214 at the same venue for UFC 193.
Neither of the men landed a heavy punch in the first round but it was a much different fight in the second as both fighters went in for it.
A right hook, which was immediately followed up with a left after he had taken a heavy right blow on the chin, did the job for the undefeated fighter as he continued his steady rise.
“Hats off to Adesanya, a great striker,” the defeated Whittaker said. “I felt I was doing pretty well until you get caught. I’m only 28. I’ve still got a fight or two yet ... I’m not going anywhere.”
Through the fight, Adesanya showed great evasive skills, avoiding plenty of kicks and punches, though Whittaker did land a few right-hand strikes.
“He threw everything we expected,” a buzzing Adesanya said. “We had everything planned for plan A to Z. It’s unreal, they said I have no knockout power. He caught me with a nice one but I returned. I eat it but give it back two times. I hate to get hit. It’s stupid to get hit. I’m tough and smart. At the end of the day, my team and I were smart.”
The win improved Adesanya's MMA record to 18-0 while for Whittaker, it was his first loss in 10 bouts and in more than five years, with his MMA record dropping to 20-5.