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Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker 2 full fight video highlights

Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker at UFC 271
Israel Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker again in the UFC 271 main event.
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Watch Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker 2 full fight video highlights from UFC 271, courtesy of the UFC.

UFC 271 took place on Feb. 12 at Toyota Center in Houston. UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya (22-1) faced off with ex-champ Robert Whittaker (23-6) in a five-round main event. The fight aired live on the ESPN+ pay-per-view main card. Catch more video highlights below.

For more on Adesanya vs. Whittaker, check out a live blog by MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.

Round 1

Both men are out in orthodox and it’s Whittaker taking the center of the cage early but Adesanya pushes him back after a few seconds. Feeling out for this first minute with only a couple low kicks from each man thus far.

Whittaker coming with a much more patient approach, drawing Adesanya in and looking to counter but Adesanya is only working with jabs for now. Not much to work with. Adesanya really keeping Whittaker on the back foot though, and he’s also switching his stances and feinting, keeping Whittaker from getting clear reads.

Like in the Romero fight, Adesanya is proving to be content to work from the long range with kicks. It’s a winner for him as Whittaker can’t hit him back and he’s not defending these calf kicks. Whittaker tries a lunge forward but nothing happens. Adesanya is dictating this fight entirely, moving Whittaker around the cage and a snapping right hand drops Whittaker! Whittaker back up immediately and it may have been more timing than hurt, but still a bad look and Adesanya is in flow now.

Whittaker shoots a naked takedown but Adesanya stuffs it with ease and with a minute left, Adesanya is now feeling confident with his strikes. He’s finding a home for his right hooks and Whittaker is looking a little rattled now, overreacting to strikes. And in the open spaces, Adesanya is still landing calf kicks. That was one way traffic.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Adesanya.

Round 2

Whittaker needs a lot of answers and he needs them fast. He can’t consent to fighting at the long range, because Adesanya is longer. He also can’t lunge in because Adesanya is too clean on the counters. And his leg is taking too much damage. Whittaker looks discouraged in the corner.

Adesanya comes out with pressure to start the second and now Whittaker is taking chances. He’s ducking in and swinging back. Looks a lot like their first fight and that’s dangerous for Whittaker. Adesanya slipping the jabs from Whittaker and countering. Adesanya is kicking the legs less, so that’s good I guess.

Whittaker still cannot navigate the range and his corner is yelling “You’ve got to believe, Rob!” which is not a great sign. Whittaker is biting down and swinging though and he’s landing with it. The problem is this is right back to the first fight, and that’s playing with fire. He needs to target the body some.

Whittaker swings his way in and now he’s driving on a body lock! Whittaker gets Adesanya to the mat but Adesanya is against the fence and already looking to stand. Whittaker holding the body lock but Adesanya is up and he’s working an underhook to get out. He is finally able to and it’s Adesanya putting Whittaker on the back foot again.

More stance switching and kicks from Adesanya and Whittaker is still without answers to consistently generate offense. He’s also overreacting to low kicks now. Whittaker is coming forward in combination but every time he breaks it off, that’s when Adesanya hits him. Another clinch attempt from Whittaker but it gets nowhere and I have no idea what Whittaker can do here to get something going.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Adesanya, 20-18 Adesanya overall.

Round 3

This is such a rough style matchup for Whittaker and he appears to know it, sitting on the stool. Unfortunately, Adesanya is looks totally fresh. But Whittaker has more bounce in his step to start the third.

Whittaker moving around on the outside and there is less pressure from Adesanya now. Perhaps he’s trying to draw Whittaker in again but Bobby Knuckles appears hesitant now. A good jab from Whittaker catches Adesanya coming in though. The jab has been Whittaker’s best bet so far but he can’t land it enough.

Feints from Adesanya are opening up chances for the champion as Whittaker is reacting a lot. Whittaker comes in behind a strong jab but Adesanya lands a strong counter. The math is awful for Rob right now. He’s trading one for one when they are trading, and just eating shots at range.

A low kick from Adesanya gets a shot out of Whittaker but the champion drops his hips and keeps Whittaker off. Back in space, Adesanya throws a high kick and Whittaker catches it and drives Adesanya to the mat! The champion has zero interest in being there and he’s immediately up but Whittaker is now cinched on a rear waist lock. Adesanya walks to the cage and is able to break free. There is just no avenue for Whittaker to attack.

The commentary team notes that Adesanya have have hurt his right hand as he’s throwing it less and appears to be favoring it some. That could be good for Whittaker who also lands a left hook as Adesanya steps in. Whittaker has had some success on the counter but there is just not enough of it.

MMA Fighting score the round 10-9 Adesanya, 30-27 Adesanya overall.

Round 4

Unless the Texas judges are insane, Whittaker is down 3-0 and he needs A LOT to come back. His corner is calling for blast doubles. Instead, Whittaker lands a strong lead hook to start. But Adesanya is back to the kicking game early in the round.

Whittaker is biting down on his mouthpiece and working his way inside more, and having some success with dirty boxing but he’s also eating shots. However, he gets insides and gets in on the waist and takes Adesanya down! Adesanya is up immediately but he’s so urgent with his scramble that Whittaker takes the back!

Adesanya is on his feet and wearing Whittaker like a backpack and the challenger is working a choke! Adesanya fights the hands well though and he’s able to break the grip and turn and now Whittaker is back in space. That may be the last hurrah of Whittaker.

Adesanya pressuring now and looks almost angry about how dangerous that moment was. He’s marching Whittaker down and finding his shots. Nothing huge, but consistently landing. Whittaker is not backing down though! He’s firing back and landing well. But Adesanya is starting to chew that lead leg up against and he’s getting in much closer now. Adesanya may smell blood here.

Adesanya is looking to land a fadeaway right hook to close this one out but Whittaker is not running into it this time. Whittaker forces a clinch but he’s not getting much going with it. Adesanya defending easily and gets back to space.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Whittaker, 39-37 Adesanya overall.

Round 5

Full credit to Robert Whittaker, he is giving a good accounting of himself despite the horrible matchup. If the judges are weird, maybe he can do something with a big round here.

Whittaker on the lead a little more here, working in behind a double jab which is a really good move. It’s keeping Adesanya off rhythm on his counter. But Adesanya still chopping that leg.

Whittaker upping his output here and Adesanya is now waiting for perfection instead of eating space and Whittaker is starting to land some good shots. A failed takedown attempt from Whittaker gets nowhere close but he is able to feint in behind it and land a right hand. An eye poke to Whittaker causes a brief break but they’re back at it almost immediately.

The double jab from Whittaker has been a game-changer. It’s allowing him to find some success on the feet and get into close range for takedowns. He uses one to set up a shot and he gets a takedown but Adesanya is to his feet instantly. Whittaker is against holding the body lock but Adesanya is going to break here, he’s been doing it consistently. Whittaker lands a big shot on the break though and with 90 seconds left, Whittaker may be winning this round.

Adesanya going for jabs and low kicks but Whittaker drives in on a takedown and he’s got Adesanya against the fence in a clinch. Whittaker isn’t doing anything with it, but Adesanya isn’t breaking. With short time, Whittaker attempts to muscle Adesanya down but can’t and now Whittaker is just going to ride the position out.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Whittaker, 48-47 Adesanya overall.