UFC 243 Results: Israel Adesanya Knocks Out Robert Whittaker to Claim Throne

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UFC 230 Israel Adesanya UFC 234
Credit: Jason Burgos/Sherdog.com

We have a new champion. Israel Adesanya knocked out Robert Whittaker in the main event of UFC 243 to take home the middleweight title.

UFC 243 is headlined by one of the most anticipated main events in a long time. Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will look to officially defend his title for the first time against former kickboxing star and interim champion Israel Adesanya.

Whittaker started the fight with a lead leg side kick then hunted for some hooks. A right hand landed for the champion. Whittaker was fighting in bursts, sending Adesanya backwards with a jab. Adesanya let a jab go after another rush from Whittaker, but he couldn’t match Whittaker’s output in the early going. The leg kicks continued to come in from Whittaker, then there was an eyepoke from the champion that led to a brief pause. While Whittaker was striking more, he was having trouble finding the target (aside from his leg kicks). The head movement from Adesanya continued to be impressive, but he simply wasn’t striking much. At the very end of the round, Israel Adesanya landed a beautiful right hand that flattened Whittaker. He popped back up and returned to his corner, not taking any follow-ups because the bell had sounded.

Whittaker charged in and landed a right to kick off the round. Whittaker landed a charging left, then another. A solid bounce back for Whittaker in the second round. Adesanya began firing his jab more often, as Whittaker continued to charge in. Adesanya started letting his hands go, landing a combination after firing off a head kick. A left hook connected for Whittaker, then a head kick after an exchange. Whittaker started to force exchanges in the pocket, where he was finding success. He landed a lunging left that snapped Adesanya’s head back. However, Adesanya landed a right hook to left hook combination that sent the champ stumbling, and he was out. We have a new champion.

Israel Adesanya def. Robert Whittaker by KO (Left Hook) in Round 2 (3:33)

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