Robert Whittaker squared off with undefeated UFC interim middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in the headiner of tonight’s UFC 243 event.
The fight marked Whittaker’s first in fifteen months, as his most previous Octagon appearance had come at UFC 225 in June of 2018. That night in Chicago, Robert Whittaker (21-5 MMA) defeated Yoel Romero by split decision in a ‘fight of the year’ performance to retain his middleweight title.
Awaiting ‘Bobby Knuckles’ was undefeated middleweight sensation Israel Adesanya. ‘Stylebender’ had taken the sport by storm in recent months, defeating the likes of Kelvin Gastelum, Anderson Silva and Derek Brunson on route to the promotions interim title.
While Robert Whittaker showed no signs of ring rust in tonight’s UFC 243 main event, his strong efforts were still not enough to hand Israel Adesanya is first career defeat. After being dropped by a punch in the final seconds of round one, things only got worse for ‘The Reaper’ in round two. Adesanya was able to bloody up the reigning champion before eventually sending him the canvas for good after landing a beautiful two-punch combination.
Shortly after the conclusion of the fight, Robert Whittaker spoke with UFC commentator Jon Anik where he issued the following statement on tonight’s title loss.
“Yeah, hats off to Adesanya. He is a great striker. I thought I was doing pretty well, until you get caught.” Whittaker said with a laugh. “But umm, hell, you know I’m only 28. I’ll see him in a fight or two yeah? Thanks for everyone who came out today. Thanks to my family and thanks to my coaches. Everybody did great getting me here. Honestly, this is the best I’ve ever felt. I didn’t get the W today but I AM NOT GOING ANYWHERE!”
Who would you like to see Robert Whittaker fight next following tonight’s title loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!