Israel Adesanya knocks out Whittaker to become UFC middleweight champion

Israel Adesanya UFC champion

Barely 18 months after making his debut at the UFC, Nigerian-born fighter, Israel Adesanya, has emerged the undisputed UFC middleweight champion.

Adesanya defeated former champion Robert Whittaker on Saturday night in Melbourne, Australia.

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In front of a big crowd at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, Adesanya (18-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC), who entered the bout as interim champion, knocked out Whittaker (20-5 MMA, 11-3 UFC) at the 3:33 mark of the second round to unify the title, USA Today reports.

He threw everything we expected. We had everything planned from Plan A to Z, Adesanya said. Its unreal. They said I have no knockout power.

Whittaker had not fought since June 2018.

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He got the better of Adesanya in the first round with jabs, hooks, and overhands.

Adesanya dropped Whittaker to the mat with a count-right that landed flush on the jaw a split second before the horn sounded to end Round 1.