Adesanya Keeps UFC Middleweight Crown by Decision

In a closer than expected battle, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya retained his title by unanimous decision over Robert Whittaker Saturday night in the UFC 271 main event from Houston, Texas. Adesanya had lifted the title from Whittaker by convincing second round knockout in 2019 and started the rematch looking as if he might cruise to another easy win as the challenger did little in the first round while Adesanya landed vicious low kicks and scored a knockdown with a straight left hand.

A different Whittaker started the second round though, getting active behind flurries of left jabs. He nailed a takedown but was unable to keep Adesanya on the mat for long. Whittaker scored another takedown off an Adesanya kick in the third but Adesanya quickly found room to escape back to his feet where he continued trying to pick Whittaker apart from the outside. Whittaker again scored takedowns in the fourth and fifth but just wasn't able to keep Adesanya down long enough to do damage. In the end, the judges gave the close unanimous nod to Adesanya.

The co-main event saw heavyweight contender Tai Tuivasa land a big elbow to knockout Derrick Lewis in the second round.

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