Arguably the most technically outstanding fighter in MMA puts his championship belt on the line at UFC 271 as undisputed middleweight champion Israel Adesanya returns to action in Houston, Texas.
Adesanya will look to register the fourth defense of his 185-pound title when he rematches the man he defeated to win the title, former champion Robert Whittaker.
The pair first clashed at UFC 243 in October 2019, when Adesanya knocked out Whittaker in the second round to upgrade his interim crown to the full, undisputed title.
Now the pair will meet again, with Adesanya still undefeated as a middleweight, but “The Last Stylebender” does have one blemish on his MMA record, courtesy of then-light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz.
Whittaker, meanwhile, has bounced back superbly from his defeat to Adesanya, thanks to a hat-trick of decision wins over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum. Now he’s ready for a championship reunion with Adesanya, and the Aussie known as “The Reaper” hopes to reunite himself with the championship belt, too.
Ahead of the matchup, check out the UFC’s pre-fight film, UFC 271 Countdown, which tells the pre-fight story of the bout, with opinions from both fighters and their teams.