14 Apr 2019

Adesanya storms home to earn UFC title shot

5:40 pm on 14 April 2019

New Zealand mixed martial artist Israel Adesanya has earned a title shot against reigning UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker after a unanimous points victory over American Kelvin Gastelum in Atlanta today.

Israel Adesanya (right) fights Kelvin Gastelum

Israel Adesanya (right) fights Kelvin Gastelum Photo: Photosport

Honours were shared across the first four rounds, but the 29-year-old Nigeria-born New Zealander dominated the fifth and final round to take the title 48-46 in UFC 236 at the Octagon.

Adesanya's impressive striking game in the last round proved decisive against Gastelum's strong wrestling credentials, and he now becomes the first New Zealand-based fighter to win a UFC belt.

He's now expected to face reigning middleweight champion Whittaker later this year.

Whittaker watched the fight from his home city of Sydney, afterwards tweeting Adesanya: "Great fight mate see you soon."

Adesanya's win over Gastelum improved his MMA record to 17-0 and his UFC log to 6-0.