By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
UFC 271 was last night and featured a big rematch between UFC
Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker. DId it
live up to the hype? Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Bobby Green vs. Nasrat Haqparast
They trade eyepokes early in the first round before exchanging some
nice strikes. Green landed some good combinations towards the end of
the round. The second round saw Green start landing some good strikes
but Haqparast battled back and started hitting some nice strikes of
his own. The third round started with a bunch of jabs from both
fighters. Green was feeling good as he countered Haqparast and went to
the body and the head. The round ends and Green wins the decision to
improve to 29-12-1. Haqparast drops to 13-5. Good win for Green.
GOOD- Renato Moicano submits Alexander Hernandez
They trade strikes early before Moicano gets a takedown. Hernandez
gets back to his feet without suffering much damage and he lands some
good strikes before the first round ends. The second round started
with Moicano dropping Hernandez to a knee off a counterpunch. Moicano
landed some more hard strikes before Hernandez dropped and Moicano
locked in a rear-naked choke for the submission victory. Moicano
improves to 16-4-1 while Hernandez drops to 13-5. Good win for
GOOD- Jared Cannonier stops Derek Brunson
Brunson goes to the body early and tries for a takedown but doesn’t
get it. However, after absorbing some elbows he’s able to get the
takedown. Cannonier shows some good takedown defense but eventually
Brunson gets him down again. Cannonier gets back to his feet but gets
dropped by a big counter right hook from Brunson. The round ends
before Brunson can finish him though. The second round starts with
another Brunson takedown before Cannonier gets back up and a big right
hand. Cannonier stuffs several more takedown attempts before hurting
Brunson with an elbow and backfist. Cannonier smashes home punches and
elbows on the mat to force the referee to jump in to stop the match.
Cannonier moves to 15-5 and has won 5 of his last 6 fights to move
closer to a title shot. Brunson falls to 23-8 and has his 5 fight
winning streak snapped. Good win for Cannonier.
GOOD- Tai Tuivasa stops Derrick Lewis
Not a lot going on early until Lewis gets a couple trip takedowns.
Massive ground-and-pound but Tuivasa survives the round. They’re
throwing bombs in the second round. Good toughness from both but
Tuivasa is getting the better of it. He crushes Lewis with some huge
right hands before a quick elbow knocks Lewis out. Tuivasa improves to
14-3 and has won 5 fights in a row. Lewis drops to 26-9 with 1 No
Contest. Good win for Tuivasa.
GOOD- Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker
Adesanya successfully defended his UFC Middleweight Championship here.
They both start with a lot of kicks in the first round. Adesanya drops
Whittaker with a straight left hand. Adesanya peppers Whittaker with
some strikes and denies his takedown attempts to finish the round
strong. The second round sees them trade strikes before Whittaker
scores a takedown. They trade more strikes in the third round before
Whittaker gets another takedown. Not much comes of it, though and
Adesanya peppers him with more strikes. Adesanya starts the fourth
round with kicks before Whittaker gets another takedown. He’s working
for a submission but can’t get it and they separate. They trade more
strikes as the round ends. The fifth round sees them trading even more
strikes before Whittaker got yet another takedown. Not much came of it
before Adesanya got back up. Adesanya gets the decision victory and
improves to 22-1 and is undefeated at middleweight. He’s defended the
UFC Middleweight Championship four times and is making a strong case
for being one of the best ever at middleweight. Whittaker falls to
23-6 and has only lost to Adesanya (twice) since 2014. He’s 12-2 in
his last 14 fights, with only the losses to Adesanya sullying his
record. This was such an incredibly close fight that I think you could
argue for either man to have won. Good win for Adesanya.
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Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at
email@example.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank.
Thanks for reading and have a good day.