Nigerian-born Israel Adesanya knocked out Robert Whittaker in the second round to become the Universal Fighting Club (UFC) middleweight world champion.
The style bender, as he is fondly called, dethroned Whittaker via second-round TKO (punches) at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium in their UFC 243 bout.
With the triumph, Adesanya has improved his MMA records to 18-0 and won the undisputed title in just his seventh UFC bout, all of them inside the past two years.
He has now firmly established himself as one of the biggest stars in the sport.
The New Zealander based fighter showed great evasive skills, avoiding plenty of kicks and punches, though the Australian did land a few right hand strikes.
“I’m real petty, I remember everything like an elephant. I was in the nosebleeds, now I made his nose bleed,” Adesanya said.
“He threw everything we expected, we had everything for his plan A, plan B, right up to plan Z. It’s unreal, they said I have no knockout power.
“He caught me with a nice one but I returned. I eat it but give it back two times.
“I hate to get hit. It’s stupid to get hit. I’m tough and smart. At the end of the day, my team and I were smart.”
It was Whittaker’s first loss in 10 bouts and in more than five years, with his MMA record dropping to 20-5.