Israel Adesanya knocked out Robert Whittaker to crown himself as the undisputed middleweight champion at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on Sunday. “Stylebender” dropped “The Reaper” in the second round and got in a couple more shots before the referee stepped in to call the fight off in front of a UFC-record attendance of 57,000. It was the stadium where Nigerian-New Zealander Adesanya had sat high up in the stands watching Holly Holm’s seismic KO of Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 in November 2015 – and where he had vowed to return, but inside the Octagon. “I’m real petty, I remember everything like an elephant. I was in the nosebleeds, and now I made his nose bleed,” said the undefeated Adesanya, who moved to 18-0 overall and 7-0 in the UFC, where he only made his debut in 2018. “The Reaper” was the more aggressive in the first round, with Adesanya scoping the Australian’s offence out, but Whittaker was dramatically dropped in the final seconds. Adesanya – 4 inches taller with a 6-and-a-half inch reach advantage – hit Whittaker with a precise counter left hook but hesitated briefly before the buzzer sounded. UFC 243: Israel Adesanya likes Paulo Costa fight next – so he can shut up ‘dumb’ casual fans “No mercy, next time I’ll never show mercy,” he said on the ESPN post show. “It was on the bell. I looked at his eyes, his eyes crossed. I saw him in slow motion hit the ground.” Adesanya began to roll in the second round, showing off his arsenal of slick offensive and defensive moves, before catching Whittaker again with another counter – this time a left-right combination, and this time no rescue for “Bobby Knuckles”. “He threw everything we expected, in this fight we had it all the way up to his Plan Z,” Adesanya said in the Octagon. “That’s a nice one he caught me with but look at the return. I don’t like to get hit, it’s stupid to get hit. But I’m tough. Me and my team, we’re smart.” He's got two words for ya... @stylebender #UFC243 pic.twitter.com/oAuTcLexoZ — ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 6, 2019 Undefeated Brazilian Paulo Costa was sitting ringside and pointed at Adesanya after his interview. Adesanya’s response? Two middle fingers and a crotch chop like something out of WWE. “You know who’s next, I got this overly inflated balloon animal, this Ricky Martin lookalike,” Adesanya said. “This is my Octagon, he’s been talking s*** about me, I don’t like this guy.” For Whittaker, a nine-fight win streak was snapped but he vowed to come back stronger. “Hats off to Adesanya, he’s a great striker. I thought I was doing pretty well until he caught me. I’m only 28, I’ve still got a fight or two in me. Didn’t get the W today but I’m not going anywhere.” UFC 243: Robert Whittaker feels he can still beat Israel Adesanya – ‘I hurt him, was controlling fight’ In the co-main event, New Zealand’s Dan Hooker (19-8) catapulted himself into the top 10 of the lightweight division by easing to a dominant unanimous decision win against No 6-ranked Al Iaquinta (14-6-1). Two judges scored the fight 30-27, the other 30-26. “I’m gonna call my next fight,” Hooker said in the Octagon. “Dustin Poirier, I’m gonna smash your face in. Meet me in New Zealand, 2020, I’m gonna end you.” The taller, rangier Hooker dropped the New Yorker late in the second round with a big right hook but “Raging Al” had enough about him to survive on the ground until the buzzer. “The Hangman” stayed behind his jab in the third round, and Iaquinta had no answer. Earlier on the main card, Sergey Spivak (10-1) submitted Australia’s Tai Tuivasa (8-3) by arm triangle choke in the second round. Dhiego Lima (15-7) beat Luke Jumeau (13-5) by split decision, while Yorgan De Castro (6-0) sparked Justin Tafa (3-1) with a stunning first-round KO.