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Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker history: Looking back at UFC 243

Tonight will be the second chapter in the history of Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker. What happened in their first fight in UFC 243?

Opponents Israel Adesanya of Nigeria and Robert Whittaker of Australia face off during the UFC 271 press conference at George R. Brown Convention Center on February 10, 2022 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

UFC 271 comes to you live from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on Saturday, February 12th. The early preliminary card will get started at 6:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and will be followed by the preliminary card at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and ESPN. The card will be capped off by a five-bout main card that is scheduled to start at 10:00 p.m. ET and will be available only on PPV. The main event of UFC 271 is a fight for the middleweight title between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker.

This matchup is a rematch from UFC 243 which saw Adesanya come away with the win after a second-round knockout. The champ is favored with -280 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook. Even though he has won his last three matches, Whittaker is the underdog with +225 odds.

Let’s take a look back at the first matchup between Adesanya and Whittaker ahead of UFC 271’s main event on Saturday.

Adesanya-Whittaker 1

They went back and forth in the first round, and it looked like the fight was going to be competitive. Whittaker got busted open after a hit to his nose and Adesanya became a shark and zeroed in on his opponent. Whittaker was able to hit some solid hooks and a kick to the head of Adesanya, but he wasn’t able to rattle Adesanya. With 1:33 left in the second round, Whittaker connected with a right, but as he was swinging for Adesanya’s chin, he inadvertently moved his face right into the right hook that Adesanya had thrown. Whittaker lost his balance and fell back and Adesanya was on him instantly hammering down his right fist and the ref put a stop to the bout.