The Nigerian-born New Zealander desisted Whittaker’s reign at the pinnacle of the lightweight division with a spectacular performance in the main event of UFC 243.
The 30-year-old induced the end of the Whittaker Era with a brilliant counter left hook and ground and pound, which you can see below:
Adesanya was over the moon with his display and couldn’t hold his pleasure in his post-fight conference with John Anik.
“I was in the nosebleeds, now I made his nose bleed,” the 30-year-old said when reflecting on his journey to UFC gold. “He threw everything we expected.
“We had everything from his plan A to C and we had it up to Z.
“I can take it and I can give it back. I don’t like getting hit, it’s stupid getting hit, but I’m tough.
“I and my team are really smart. Marvel comics we’ve got to do something after this.”
From the initial bell, emotions were running high Down Under, and the champion appeared swinging seeking for a massive shot to put the match away early, Australia’s beloved Whittaker was beginning to be picked off by a cooler, and calmer Adesanya.
The challenger seemed to be bypassing the punches coming his way by the most precarious of margins, but his timing and patience paid off.
At the conclusion of round one with Whittaker completely committed to an attack, Stylebender leaned back and pitched a swift right hook counter.
The shot floored Whittaker with only the bell rescuing the champion from defeat in the opening five minutes.
Gazing defeat in the face the Aussie rolled the dice again and looked for the shot to end it all.
But Adesanya just was not there. He was a step ahead of Whittaker.
Stylebender challenged his Australian foe to step into range and trade blow for blow – and the lure was soon seized.
Whittaker descended with a shot over the top but was instantly met with a devastating counter shot, which again bequeathed him on the rump of his pants.
A flawlessly hurled left hook spelt the origin of the end as Adesanya leapt in to destroy his downed opponent off – and the match was soon over.
Merely seven fights into his UFC career and 30-year-old Stylebender is the king of the middleweight segment, coming into the fight already occupying the interim title following Kelvin Gastelum defeats in April.
Adesanya flipped the bird after beating Robert Whittaker
Newly UFC middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya has revealed the rude gesture that he made following his extraordinary victory over Robert Whittaker in Melbourne.
Adesanya scored a second-round TKO of champion Robert Whittaker and then immediately celebrated by flicking the bird at Paulo Costa, likely to be his next opponent.
Brazil’s Costa had been firing barbs at Adesanya in the leadup to Sunday’s fight in Australia and the Kiwi-Nigerian couldn’t resist a winning salutation.
He said: “(I was trying to) sell the next fight a little bit, but at the same time, he’s an (expletive). He’s my (expletive),
“I want to make him my (expletive). So that’s why I did what I did.”
Both Adesanya and Costa are undefeated, connoting this would be another tremendous UFC event.
Adesanya assumes “casual” fight supporters are fooled by Costa’s toned body and by his own brash psyche out of the ring.
But he’s settled he has the game to manipulate Costa.
“I like that fight because the casuals, they’re dumb,” Adesanya said.
“They see a beefed-up beefcake like that, and they think ‘now that’s the guy.’ I’m still all hype, by the way. I’m still just a hype train. So they’ll see that and think that’s the guy, ‘that’s the guy.’ They just want to see me lose, but they’re going to be waiting for a long time.
“He looks good. He looks beefy. He looks like a swimsuit model, doesn’t he? He’s a handsome man.”
Adesanya wasn’t co-corresponding about Costa’s fighting capability.
“Basic. Basic is just what I work on, my foundations. I have to work on my basic. He doesn’t need … everyone that he fights is just a punching bag that stands there, just waiting to be hit. I can’t wait to fight him. I’m not impressed, to be honest.”
The foundations are designated for what is likely to be a sensitive first defence by Adesanya.
“When I put my hands on his head, his body – he’s going to feel it a lot,” Costa said.
“I fear he can die in the Octagon, for sure.”
Costa said Adesanya “came at me” after the Melbourne fight and felt it was wise they were kept apart – for now.
“He cannot handle it from me,” Costa said. “When I close the distance, I can KO him.”