Israel Adesanya & Robert Whittaker show true respect with warm embrace after rematch at UFC 271

  • Tom Ward

Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker showed each other the respect they deserved after their rematch in the main event of UFC 271.

Adesanya, 32, successfully defended his middleweight title once again by defeating former champion Whittaker for the second time by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) early on Sunday morning at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

It was ‘The Last Stylebender’ who ultimately got his hand raised on the night, but Bobby Knuckles also deserves huge props after giving his all for 25 gruelling minutes.

After the contest, Adesanya and Whittaker shared a lovely moment with a warm embrace with Adesanya then raising his Aussie rival’s hand above his head in an incredible show of sportsmanship.

Adesanya beat Chris Weidman‘s record of three successful title defences by moving to four without loss to start to close the gap on Anderson Silva at the top of the all-time list.

Following his decision win over Whittaker, he admitted he ‘wasn’t really looking past’ Whittaker as he ‘took him very seriously’ and it was clear that he had a great deal of respect for his opponent at the end of the contest.

Adesanya said after the bout: “[I’d give it] 7 out of 10.

“Not bad. Good night in the office, good chess match.

Feb 12, 2022; Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES; Israel Adesanya (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 271 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s easier said than done. Even if you’ve already been in there with me before.

“I don’t know people, I feel like they have goldfish memories, but when they’re in there with me, they realise ‘oh s—’ it’s not as easy as we thought.’

“They just have to revert back to what they know.

“I wasn’t really looking past Robert. I took him very seriously.

“Right all the way to the last bell. I knew he was dangerous.

“He caught me slipping one time and I was like good one cause I was really aware of it on the clinch, when we’d break away from the clinch, he was going to hit me and he caught me one on this side and I was like good one.

“I acknowledged it. I had fun in there.”

WATCH: Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker share lovely moment of respect after their rematch at UFC 271

Check out the video below…

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