Robert Whittaker has fallen short in his pursuit of regaining the UFC Middleweight Title, going down to Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision at UFC 271.
After being knocked down in the first round, Whittaker rebounded and went toe-to-toe with Adesanya for the next four rounds, taking the champ to the ground on multiple occasions.
The challenger had some great moments throughout the fight but was unable to capitalise, with Adesanya remaining the busier fighter throughout the five-round battle.
The judges scored it 48-47 48-47 49-46 in Adesanya’s favour, with his takedown defence and overall striking giving him the slight edge over the Australian star.
Whittaker’s leg was bright red following a barrage of leg kicks from the champ, who now improves his professional career record to 23-1, with his only loss coming at light heavyweight.
The pair embraced immediately after the fight, which went down very differently to their original clash back in 2019.
Sportsmanship at its finest 👏
— ESPN (@espn) February 13, 2022
Whittaker admitted he was gutted during his post-fight interview, but believed he did enough to win the fight.
“I’m happy that I fought my heart out, but yeah, I’m gutted – I thought I did enough,” he said.
“I know I started off rocky, but I thought I won every round after that.”
Adesanya’s next challenger will likely be Jared Cannonier, who scored a massive victory over Derek Brunson earlier in the night, and called out the champ in his post-fight interview.