Israel Adesanya retained his middleweight belt by defeating former champion Robert Whittaker via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) at UFC 271 on Saturday in Houston. The victory was Adesanya’s (22-1) fourth title defense and his 11-fight UFC win streak at middleweight is the second-longest in division history behind Anderson Silva’s 13 in a row.
Adesanya, with a height and reach advantage, found success at range throughout the night and continuously attacked Whittaker’s lead leg. Whittaker had moments — landing several takedown attempts — but none resulted in any significant damage on the titleholder in a close bout.
“I know June doesn’t have a PPV yet,” Adesanya said after the win, hinting at his plans for a return to the cage, “but I’m the big dog in the yard.”