Israel Adesanya has done it. Within less than two years of his UFC debut, The Last Stylebender has reached the mountain top. Robert Whittaker has been the undisputed Middleweight Champion and has run through the entire division.
However, this night belonged to Adesanya as the man who walked in as Interim Champion knocked Whittaker out in the second round. To those watching the fight, the finish didn't come as a surprise because there was a lot of firepower behind his strikes.
Ultimately, it was Adesanya's world-class striking and counters that made the difference as the Nigerian-born Kiwi Champion managed to outstrike Whittaker to a finish. While Whittaker had relative control of the first round, it was close until the final five seconds, where Adesanya landed a fantastic shot to knock Whittaker down. He couldn't finish it then as the buzzer rang. Watch the knockdown below:
Here is a clip of the finish -
Post-fight, both men had a word in. Whittaker didn't get the result on the night but congratulated Adesanya for his performance anyway. The former also said that he's still just 28 years old and he isn't going anywhere. This may not be the last time we see Adesanya and Whittaker meet.
As for Adesanya, he broke down the finish and stated that it was the counters that got it for him. The biggest question is as to who is next for Adesanya and the answer is clear - Paulo Costa.
The Brazillian is now the next contender in line for the title and was close to Octagon-side watching. The two men dislike each other and Adesanya added to the hype with a cross-chop (in reference to WWE faction DX) to Costa. Borrachinha will get the fight he wanted.
All indications seem to point to that fight. A star wasn't born, but Adesanya took his starpower to a whole new level. Watch the Stylebender celebrate below: