UFC 271 has just finished and Israel Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker by unanimous decision (48-47) (48-47) (49-46) in a close tactical fight.
Although Whittaker was able to take the champion down multiple times, he wasn’t able to keep him down or deliver damage. On the feet, Adesanya scored an early knockdown in round 1 and edged the striking. These two are definitely the top two in the division, however with Jared Cannonier’s vicious knockout on Derek Brunson, he’s surely put himself next in line for a shot at the champion.
Brunson was relentless with his takedown attempts and after round one he looked fatigued. This made his attempts in round two sloppy and he left his chin exposed multiple times, allowing for Cannonier to capitalise and finish him with brutal ground and pound elbows.
Speaking of elbows, Tai Tuivasa put himself in title contention with a brutal knockout on Derrick Lewis in round 2. After a cagey round one with a few moments of chaos, Tai won the battle of the “slangin and bangin” with a nasty elbow that dropped Lewis face first. This win definitely puts ‘Bam Bam’ in contention for the title and it’ll be interesting to see how he’d face up against someone like Ciryl Gane.
Bobby Green started off the card with a boxing masterclass against Nasrat Haqparast. Beautiful jabs followed by straights pieced up the German who had no answer for Green’s mind games and fight IQ.
Renato Moicano defeated Alex Hernandez with a beautiful rear naked choke in the second round. After constantly catching him with counter strikes in the first, Moicano was able to connect with the perfect shot, knocking down his opponent, who gave up his back for the submission.
The prelims were alright. William Knight who missed weight by 12lbs, lost to Maxim Grishin and didn’t provide a threat. Hopefully, he sorts out his weight issues next time out if given the opportunity.
Highly rated Blood Diamond lost to Jeremiah Wells in convicting fashion. It was a tough opponent to give Diamond on his first fight and he’ll surely be back soon. Wells has once again cemented himself as a future contender in the welterweight division. Good striking and wrestling definitely gives him a huge advantage over the one dimensional fighters down the line.
Douglas Silva de Andrade and Sergei Morozov put on a show, with the Brazilian coming back to win by submission in a contender for fight of the night. The bantamweight division is incredibly stacked with talent and I’d love to see de Andrade face someone towards the top 15 next.
Kyler Phillips returned to winning ways with a round 3 submission via an arm triangle. Finally, Roxanne Modafferi lost her final fight against highly rated talent Casey O’Neill. Roxanne walked O’Neill down for three rounds but O’Neill was able to catch her with counters throughout the night.
My fight of the night would go to De Andrade and Morozov and my performance of the night would go to Jeremiah Wells or Bobby Green. I’d rate the card a solid 7/10, the main card was extremely exciting and although the main event wasn’t crazy, it was a technical fight between two of the best fighters in the world.