UFC 271: Adesanya retains middleweight title, Tuivasa knocks out KO king Lewis

By Sports Desk February 13, 2022

Israel Adesanya has retained his UFC middleweight title after defeating Australian Robert Whittaker by unanimous decision in their re-match at UFC 271 on Saturday.

The Nigerian, who boasts an imposing 23-1 record, triumphed 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 to remain undefeated in the middleweight decision which he has dominated.

Adesanya had defeated Whittaker in a second-round knockout at UFC 243 in 2019 but the Australian put up a much better fight this time around with new tactics.

Whittaker took down Adesanya several times throughout the bout, also the champion found an edge by landing punches and kicks to his opponents' face, legs and ribs.

Adesanya started the better, before Whittaker took him down in the second round, landing several punches to the face, but the champion managed to escape his hold and respond with a few blows.

Whittaker again took down Adesanya in the fourth round, attempting to lock in a choke as he rode his back, but he managed to break free.

The Australian continued to try take down Adesanya whose ability to escape was critical to holding his victory, along with his attacking punches and kicks.

"I knew he was going to bring everything because last time I took everything away from him," Adesanya said after the bout. "I'm the big dog in this yard so he couldn’t take me down at all."

Whittaker felt like he had done enough to claim victory and admitted he was surprised by the judges' decision yet gracious in defeat.

"I was surprised with the decision," Whittaker said. "I started off rocky in that first round. I felt like I had it after that. It is what it is.

"I'm happy I fought my heart out. I'm gutted, I thought I did enough, I thought I took that."

Adesanya's next opponent may be third-ranked Jared Cannonier (15-5) who knocked out Derek Brunson in the second round of their middleweight bout earlier on Saturday. Cannonier said after the fight that he wants a chance against Adesanya.

Tuivasa knocks out KO king Lewis

In the co-main event, Tai Tuivasa claimed victory over Derrick Lewis with a second-round knockout in the heavyweight division.

Tuivasa extended his run of wins by knockout to five, responding after being taken down twice in the first round by landing a decisive elbow to Lewis' face.

“That’s the king of knockouts,” Tuivasa said afte the bout. “But like I said, I’m young... and I’m taking over now.”

The Australian moves into contention for a title shot against Francis Ngannou.

Related items

  • 'I don't love it anymore' – Cerrone retires from UFC with Hollywood aims 'I don't love it anymore' – Cerrone retires from UFC with Hollywood aims

    Donald Cerrone confirmed his retirement from UFC on Saturday, after a loss to Jim Miller, with a Hollywood dream now set to be pursued.

    Cerrone, nicknamed "Cowboy", lost via a second-round submission to 38-year-old Miller in Las Vegas on Saturday.

    That took his career record to 36-17, and after the bout, the 39-year-old confirmed his career was over.

    Having placed his famous cowboy hat and gloves down in the octagon, Cerrone told Joe Rogan: "I don't love it anymore.

    "It's hard for me to get up – this is the longest camp I've had in a long time – I just don't love it anymore.

    "It's time to bow out, I've got to know when.

    "This is the perfect event, sold-out crowd, Las Vegas, got my boys, one hell of a career man – hopefully one day I'll be in the Hall of Fame."

    As for his next move, Cerrone – who has acted before – said: "I'm going to be a movie star baby!"

    Cerrone has made 48 appearances in the WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting) and UFC, the most of all time.

  • UFC 276: Adesanya, Volkanovski retain respective titles UFC 276: Adesanya, Volkanovski retain respective titles

    Israel Adesanya retained the UFC Middlewieght Championship with a fifth consecutive title defence, winning via unanimous decision over Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 on Saturday.

    In an ultimately tentative fight, the judges awarded the Stylebender the win in a 49-46 49-46 50-45 contest, making it four out of his last five title defences to come via decision.

    Largely in control since coming back to fight at middleweight, the 32-year-old immediately called out Alex Pereira, who Sean Strickland via knockout earlier in the night.

    Pereira also knocked out Adesanya at GOH 7 in 2017, before the latter joined the UFC the next year, with Saturday's bouts setting up an enticing rematch.

    "One thing I was looking forward to was facing Jared as an opponent, but the second thing I was looking forward to was John Crouch versus Eugene Bareman," he said post-fight.

    "Two great coaches, two great teams, and I'll tell you one thing, they had an excellent game plan. It was really hard to get my follow-ups going because they had a good game plan.

    "We know who's next, that Poatan [Pereira]. Trust me. The first time, I told you, it was an error on my part spamming right hands and that was in kickboxing. Like I said at the press conference, next time I put you on skates."

    Cannonier was initially content to stand up with Adesanya, only making sporadic take-down attempts and opting instead to chip away with leg-kicks and wait for big strikes.

    More than his unique striking, however, the Stylebender was particularly assertive in the opening two rounds, initiating the exchanges as well as changing up stances.

    Cannonier taking the third made for tight closing two rounds, but Adesanya ultimately did not take on any significant damage over the fight.

    Importantly, whenever Cannonier would look to force the issue, the reigning champion managed to tag the challenger to halt any progress and retain his title.

    Volkanovski dominates Holloway for 12th straight UFC win

    In the co-main event, Adesanya's team-mate Alexander Volkanovski reaffirmed his status as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC, retaining the Featherweight Championship in a unanimous decision over Max Holloway.

    Each of the judges scored the fight 50-45 to Volkanovski but even that belied just how dominant the 33-year-old was over the five rounds, showing extraordinary precision, explosiveness and tactical nous.

    While the second fight between the two was closer, Volkanovski neutralised Holloway's reach and height advantage this time, with timing, quickness and power in his striking - cutting Holloway up badly above his left eye in the first round.

    Vokanovski lacked the final blow but was in control, claiming a 3-0 record over Holloway on the way to a 12th straight win in the UFC, a fourth title defence and a 25-1 record in professional MMA.

  • Drake places huge wager on Adesanya ahead of UFC 276 Drake places huge wager on Adesanya ahead of UFC 276

    Drake is no stranger to putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to sporting events.

    The rap sensation clearly enjoys a flutter, once announcing a huge bet placed on Odell Beckham Jr's performance at Super Bowl LVI – reportedly placing down $1.26million on that occasion.

    Drake, who dropped his new album 'Honestly, Nevermind' last month, has now dabbled big again – this time on Israel Adesanya (21-1-0), who is set to defend his middleweight title against Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 in Las Vegas on Saturday.

    Drake told 'The Last Stylebender' on a video call: "You know I put a light million up, I wasn't playing. Return on investment is a lot."

    Adesanya has a formidable record and has defended his lightweight belt successfully against Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, Paulo Costa, and Yoel Romero.

    Jan Blachowicz is the only man to have put a loss on his record, when Adesanya stepped up a division to fight for the light heavyweight championship in March 2021.

    Alexander Volkanovski defends his featherweight title against Max Holloway in the co-main event at T-Mobile Arena.


© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.