UFC 243: Israel Adesanya knocks out Robert Whittaker, Dan Hooker dominates Al Iaquinta

Israel Adesanya ends Robert Whittaker to unify UFC middleweight championship

Israel Adesanya walked into Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium as an interim UFC middleweight champion and walked out as the unified king at 185 pounds.

Nigerian-born New Zealander Adesanya defeated his Oceanic rival Robert Whittaker inside two rounds in dominant fashion, handing “The Reaper” his first loss in almost six years.

Whittaker was the aggressor as soon as the fight begun, but that played into Adesanya’s hands with some expert counter striking, exemplified by a big knockdown right on the horn sounding as the first round came to a close.

It’s unclear whether Whittaker had recovered completely while in his corner in between rounds.

The two shared punches in the centre of the Octagon in a wild exchange and Adesanya came off the better, crushing Whittaker with a short left hook which sent him crashing down to the canvas.

After some follow-up punches, referee Marc Goddard rightly called the fight off.

Adesanya is your new unified UFC middleweight champion and his wants a piece of Brazil’s Paulo Costa next.

 

Dan Hooker beats Al Iaquinta over three rounds in impressive fashion

Don’t sleep on “The Hangman.”

At UFC 243, Dan Hooker put together his most impressive performance yet as he earned a deserved unanimous decision win against Al Iaquinta as he continues his ascent up the UFC lightweight rankings.

You rarely see rangy fighters really utilise their god-given physical advantages, but Hooker did exactly that against his shorter opponent.

Hooker battered Iaquinta’s lead leg with some vicious leg kicks, hindering his opponent’s movement, striking and takedown abilities all at once as Iaquinta was forced to fight in an unorthodox stance.

When he wasn’t chewing up Iaquinta’s legs, Hooker fought behind a piston-like jab, which were followed by some stinging straight punches.

In the second round, Iaquinta was floored by a big, looping right hook which showed off his dominance in the biggest fight of his career so far.

Iaquinta rallied and tried bringing the fight to Hooker in the third round, but the Kiwi’s craftiness showed and he comfortably eased to a unanimous decision from the judges.

With his win, Hooker took no time in calling out Dustin Poirier as his next opponent. That’s a fight everyone would like to see if Poirier doesn’t succeed in baiting Conor McGregor for a fight.

A fantastic night in the history of mixed martial arts in New Zealand.

 

UFC 243: Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya full results

Middleweight championship: Israel Adesanya (ic) def. Robert Whittaker (c) by KO (punches) at 3:33 of round two
Lightweight: Dan Hooker def. Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision after three rounds
Heavyweight: Sergey Spivak def. Tai Tuivasa by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:14 of round two
Welterweight: Dhiego Lima def. Luke Jumeau by split decision after three rounds
Heavyweight: Yorgan de Castro def. Justin Tafa by KO (punch) at 2:10 of round one
Welterweight: Jake Matthews def. Rostem Akman by unanimous decision after three rounds
Welterweight: Callan Potter def. Maki Pitolo by unanimous decision after three rounds
Lightweight: Brad Riddell def. Jamie Mullarkey by unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s Featherweight: Megan Anderson def. Zarah Fairn dos Santos by submission (triangle choke) at 3:57 of round one
Catchweight: Ji Yeon Kim def. Nadia Kassem by TKO (body punches) at 4:59 of round two
Catchweight: Khalid Taha def. Bruno Gustavo Aparecido da Silva by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:00 of round three

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes is an MMA writer who has covered the sport since 2013 for publications such as Vice Sports, Fightland, Sherdog and now Fighters Only, where he serves as freelance digital editor.