The performance inside the octagon from Israel Adesanya was clinical and spectacular. Robert Whittaker is believed to be one of the best middleweights in UFC history. However, the Nigerian born champion made it look effortless when he knocked out Whittaker within 2 rounds. Though the fight stopped at 3 minutes 33 seconds of round 2. Israel Adesanya believes that the fight ended before the second round even started.
In the first round, Whittaker came out all guns blazing and threw a lot of wild shots at Adesanya. However, he missed a lot. Although he had more strikes in the first round, Israel Adesanya knocked down Whittaker in the very last moment of round 1. Recalling that Israel Adesanya said:
“I was letting him miss, I was letting him whisp past me. When I hit him his eyes crossed. I saw him fell down in slow motion. I pulled back that punch but it would have been justified to throw it. But I am glad I did not. Now it’s like I beat him twice, I beat him in the first round and the second round.”
The knock out in the last seconds of the round 1 was the beginning of the end for Whittaker. Though Whittaker came out in the second round strong and landed a few good shots, Israel Adesanya was countering all the offenses Whittaker had to offer.
Israel Adesanya also believes that Whittaker was beaten psychologically beaten before the second round even started. Talking about Whittaker’s response to the first round knock out, Adesanya said:
“When I got rocked by Kelvin, I don’t think I had to look at the screen and see what dropped me. But he was looking at the screen while the corner and cut man were packing up. Hey, that’s in the past. don’t worry about that. Worry about this, this is what in front of you right now. This is the problem you have to deal with right now. He kind of looked at me and winked.”
Not only that Whittaker tried to touch gloves before the start of the second round something he did not attempt to do in the first round. Adesanya thinks that gesture was a sign of weakness from Whittaker, almost as if he was beaten inside his minds. Adesanya claimed:
“He came out with his hand reached, we did not touch gloves in the first round why are we gonna touch gloves in the second round. That’s him submitting. That’s him like a dog rolling over and offering his belly for submission.”
“Keep that same energy. We will touch after the fight.” said Israel Adesanya in an interview on ESPN.
After witnessing how Israel Adesanya put it all on the line in front of more than 57,000 people and achieved everything that he said he would, it’s hard to disagree with him now.