Ufc 271
Photo Credit: MMA Junkie

New FSM Essential Recap: UFC 271 – Adesanya vs Whittaker

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The UFC is back with another fantastic fight card that features a rematch for UFC gold.

 

UFC 271
Photo Credit: MMA Junkie

The UFC returns to Houston, Texas, as it hosts a rematch in the Middleweight division as former champion Robert Whittaker looks to reclaim his spot as king of the hill against the man who dethroned him, Israel Adesanya, for the title.

The two first met at UFC 248 in 2019, where Izzy walked away with the crown via second-round knockout. Now, two and a half years later, they meet again for supremacy at 185lbs.

Whittaker ( 23-5 9 KOs ) has won three straight bouts since his defeat and shown that despite losing, he is still one of the best middleweights in the world. The Reaper, or Bobby Knuckles, is a true fighter’s fighter. Throughout his career, he’s shown tremendous heart, toughness, willingness to stand toe to toe with anyone, and always keeps a good head on his shoulders. A former welterweight, Whittaker has used his speed and quickness advantage up a weight class while maintaining his incredible punching power. His ability to close distance as quickly as he does keeps most of his opposed guard, which leaves openings to let his fist fly. Whether it’s a short fight or goes the distance, he has shown the stamina to maintain a high level of output in both situations. Looking for payback and a chance to wear UFC gold once again, Whittaker is looking to show that the first time around was more so him losing as opposed to his opponent winning.

His opponent has shown that winning is really all he knows in the middleweight division as Israel Adesanya ( 21-1 15 KOs) is 10-0 in the UFC at 185lbs. His lone loss in the promotion came when he tried to become a double champion and challenge for the light heavyweight title at 205lbs. “The Last Stylebender” has made winning a tradition throughout his combat sports career. Across his pro boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts career, Izzy is a combined 101-7 with 45 KOs. It’s an astonishing record, and he only seems to be getting better as he continues to add to his arsenal inside the cage and round out his game where grappling isn’t a weakness anymore. Clearly, he is a master of the standup game and is one of the most well-versed tacticians when it comes to attacking. With kicks, punches, knees, and elbows all coming from different angles and in unique combinations, Izzy has utilized his ability and shown his personality through interviews and some of the best entrances to become one of the biggest stars in the sport and is looking to once again defend his title for what will be a fourth straight time.

Styles make fights, and this clash of styles will make for one fantastic showing once again. Whittaker likes to make things uncomfortable and turn his matches into back-alley fights where his speed, power, and quick in and out ability give him an advantage. Izzy, more of the tactical assassin, likes to pick his opponents apart, break them down and destroy their will. However, Whittaker couldn’t get Izzy out of his comfort zone the first time around. Will he look to be more patient, use faints, and choose his shots more carefully? Can Izzy continue to find openings, deliver his strikes and avoid being countered? Who will be able to inflict their will more often through the bout?

These two warriors will give us a great showing, and it’ll be interesting to see what changes both have made for the rematch and who’s game plan can be executed.

 

 

The co-main will feature a clash in the heavyweight division with a hometown hero looking to win one for H-Town.

 

UFC 271
Photo Credit: MARCA

The co-main is set up for someone to go to sleep in the heavyweight division as Houston’s own Derek Lewis takes on Tai Tuivasa.

Tuivasa ( 13-3 12 KOs ), like Izzy, has fought across boxing, kickboxing, and now MMA. While not as many bouts, he does hold an impressive combined record of 32-7 25KOs. Tui clearly likes to bang it out and let the fist fly. Always a crowd favorite for his fighting style, personality, and the traditional post-fight shoey (he pours beer into a shoe and chugs it). He has taken shoes from fans who are willing to take off a shoe, fill it with beer and allow him to chug it as he makes his way down the aisle and back to the dressing room).

One who doesn’t do shoes but knows how to put someone out is Derek Lewis ( 26-8 21 KOs ). Coming off his last win in December, Lewis is the record holder in the UFC for most knockouts with 13. A fan favorite wherever he goes. Folks know when Lewis is in the cage, there is always a good chance someone is going to sleep. His post-fight interviews are just as enjoyable as his finishes. Being in his hometown of Houston, Lewis will look to add to his record-setting career and give the fans something to cheer about, given how poorly Houstons’ NBA and NFL teams have been lately.

Two knockout artists are squaring off to see who can put who down and be one step closer to a shot at the title. Fireworks should fly when the bell sounds for these two to throw down.

The UFC is back and ready to continue rolling along with another great card that should provide plenty of sparks and excitement.

 

Be sure to check out franchisesportsmedia.com for all your latest in MMA, Las Vegas sports news, events, previews, recaps, and my weekly show, Kalani’s Corner.

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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Kalani on Twitter @klua11

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