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Israel Adesanya defends 185-pound title at UFC 271, Tai Tuivasa knocks out Derrick Lewis

Saturday's show also saw Adesanya's likely next challenger pick up a knockout victory.
Image: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Image: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya successfully defended his title against Robert Whittaker at Saturday's UFC 271 in a hard-fought unanimous decision.

Scorecards were 48-47 x 2 and 49-46 in favor of the champion who picked up his fourth defense of the title he won when he first faced then-champion Whittaker in October 2019.

Adesanya, then interim champion, unified the titles with a second round knockout.

The main card also gave Adesanya his likely next contender as Jared Cannonier knocked out Derek Brunson in the second round. The two have never fought before and Adesanya has said he would like some "fresh meat" to fight next.

Tai Tuivasa continued his white-hot streak with his fifth straight victory, all by knockout or TKO, as he dropped Derrick Lewis in the second round of their co-main event clash. Given his popularity, he could be in line for an interim title fight if Francis Ngannou doesn't fight this year due to knee surgery and his current contract conflict with the UFC.