|UFC 271|| |
Israel Adesanya vs Robert Whittaker - UFC 271
- February 12th, 2022
- Toyota Centre, Houston, Texas
- Undisputed Middleweight Championship (185-pounds)
- The main card starts at 10 pm EST
Adesanya vs Whittaker odds
- Israel Adesanya - -265
- Robert Whittaker - +225
There is a clear favorite in this fight, and the advantage goes towards the defending champion Adesanya.
'The Last Stylebender' is currently the best price of -265 with BetOnline sports betting, having previously defeated Whittaker at UFC 243 back in October 2019 via a second-round knockout. He has successfully defended the title three times since, beating all of Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, and Marvin Vettori.
He is undefeated in the 185-pound division, with his only career loss coming to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 last year when he moved up a division to try and become a double champion.
Whittaker on the other hand has gone 3-0 since his defeat to Adesanya, claiming unanimous decision wins against all of Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum to get another title shot.
You can get Whittaker at the best price +225 also with BetOnline Sports betting.
Adesanya vs Whittaker preview
These are without a doubt the two best 185-pound fighters in the world right now, and two of the best of all-time too.
Adesanya (21-1) has had a reign in the UFC that has been littered with masterful striking performances, but only four of his 11 victories under the UFC banner have come via knockout. The rest have come via decision, while his only defeat also came via the judge's scorecards.
Whittaker (23-5) has a record that isn't much better when it comes to finishing fights inside the distance. 'Bobby Knuckles' has had 17 fights inside the octagon across two weight classes, with a record of 14-3. Only five of those 14 victories have come by stoppage, while he has been knocked out twice in defeats to Stephen Thompson and Adesanya.
Both of these fighters are incredibly technical kickboxers, although Whittaker is also a more adept grappler than Adesanya and has spoken about how he believes the defeat to Blachowicz laid a blueprint for him to follow.
to beat Israel Adesanya
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History to repeat itself?
The first time these two fighters fought against each other, the stakes were similar.
Adesanya was the interim champion at the time but he was the undisputed number one contender for the belt, while Whittaker was deemed as the best in the world.
Take away the interim belt and swap them around and that's exactly what we have once again at UFC 271.
That fight was close until the buzzer went to signify the end of the first round when Adesanya landed a nasty right hook that dropped Whittaker and would've ended the fight had there been ten seconds left on the clock.
But the way the first round went wasn't a typical Whittaker performance. He was lunging to land his strikes, not defending from counter strikes, and barely trying to use his physicality to wear on the physically smaller Adesanya.
In the second fight, he will have to do all of that and more because Adesanya is a truly improved mixed martial artist two-and-a-half years on.
We saw him up against Vettori at UFC 263 where he defended takedowns from a wrestler with total ease and comfort, before landing counterstrikes for days to earn a decision win.
When he did get taken down, he threw up submissions and was able to get up to his feet quickly to avoid any sort of significant control time and ensure the fight was in his hands throughout the 25 minutes.
Whittaker and Vettori are pretty similar in their wrestling skillsets, but Whittaker is a far better striker. The danger he poses lands in his hands and feet, but he has to mix in the grappling to ensure that Adesanya can't stand in front of him and make it a kickboxing fight.
Unfortunately for him, that's exactly what Adesanya will do. Defensively his wrestling is so greatly improved that it's hard to see anyone take him down currently and we know he has the speed and power to end Whittaker's night early.
It will likely be a more cagey affair, with both men wary of the other's strengths, but expect Adesanya to do what he does best on the feet to claim yet another decision win and cement himself as the greatest of the modern era.
Israel Adesanya via Decision
to beat Robert Whittaker
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