Israel Adesanya on Robert Whittaker winning the fight, doing enough claim, Justin Gaethje

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Reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya says he doesn’t know what Australian Robert Whittaker was “sipping on to think” he had won the pair’s rematch at UFC 271.

Adesanya (23-1) won his 11th straight middleweight fight in the UFC to remain undefeated in that division. The judges scored it 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 in favour of the Kiwi, who has now won all four of his title defences — three by unanimous decision and one by knockout.

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The fight, which was a rematch of Adesanya’s title win over Whittaker (23-6) by second-round knockout at UFC 243 in 2019, was even throughout, with Whittaker taking the champion down several times. But Adesanya also landed punches to Whittaker’s face and kicks to his ribs.

After Adesanya controlled most of the first round, Whittaker rebounded in the second to take the champion down against the cage midway through the round and land a couple punches to the face. But Adesanya was able to get out of Whittaker’s hold and land a of couple punches.

Following a fairly even third round, Whittaker took down Adesanya 1 1/2 minutes into the fourth round and got on the champion’s back to try to lock in a choke, but Adesanya again broke free of the hold.

In the final round, Whittaker tried twice to take Adesanya down, but the champion got up both times. The two locked up several times against the cage, with Adesanya able to break from Whittaker’s grasp each time and landing punches to Whittaker’s face.

Immediately after the fight, Whittaker said he felt he had done enough to reclaim the title.

“I know I started off rocky in that first round, but I feel like I took every round after that,” Whittaker said moments after his defeat.

“It is what it is. I’m happy I fought my heart out… but I’m gutted. I felt I did enough, I thought I took that.”

Adesanya wasn’t a fan of those comments from his Australian opponent and certainly did not let them slide after the title fight.

“I heard that he thought he won the fight or some s–t,” Adesanya said post-fight.

“I don’t know what he and Victoria were sipping on to think they won … I don’t know?”

“But f—ing hell, he did not win that fight. He knows it.

“He needs to have a shower and reflect and realise that is not true.

Asked specifically about Whittaker’s commenting suggesting he had “done enough” to win the title, Adesanya doubled down.

“You don’t do enough to win a title, you take that belt.”

The unanimous win decision in favour of Adesanya split fighters and pundits across the UFC world.

Leading the debate, current UFC star Justin Gaethje said he thought Whittaker did enough to claim three of the five total rounds, while several UFC journalists and media icons defended Adesanya’s win.

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