The Pro Take: Israel Adesanya Defends his Middleweight Crown at UFC 271

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Israel Adesanya UFC 271
Israel Adesanya, UFC 271 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Dave Noseworthy/Cageside Press

As the division is ramping up with contenders chomping at the bit to be next in line for the UFC’s middleweight title, a number of title hopefuls had to wait for the highly anticipated rematch between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya at UFC 271.

Robert Whittaker had risen from the ashes after his loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243, taking on essentially all comers and winning three in a row against Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum to get back to the top and attempt to reclaim the UFC title he once called his own.

Since long-time great Anderson Silva passed the middleweight baton to Israel Adesanya after their fight at UFC 234, Izzy has not looked back and hasn’t taken his foot off the pedal, winning and defending the middleweight championship that his idol Anderson Silva defended a record ten times. Adesanya aside from his loss to Jan Blachowicz at light heavyweight, Adesanya has looked every bit the heir apparent to Silva, a modern-day “Spider.” Come UFC 271 on Saturday, he looked to remind Whittaker that the middleweight division was his kingdom now.

In Houston, Israel Adesanya defended his belt in perfect fashion against a durable Robert Whittaker. Whittaker made the rounds close, but Adesanya found a way to stay out of danger, defending takedowns and getting back up quickly once the fight got to the ground, where many thought there might still be a hole in his all-around skill set. It takes a great fighter to make Robert Whittaker look hesitant at times, but that’s what Israel Adesanya did. In the end, it was another memorable performance from the champ, even if he gave himself a 7/10 after the fact.

PROS GIVE THEIR TAKE

The pros let the world know what they thought of the UFC 271 main event. Their reactions are below.

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