Joe Rogan might have been absent from UFC 271, but that didn’t stop the renowned podcast host and long-time color commentator from texting Jon Anik that Israel Adesanya might have broken his hand against Robert Whittaker at some point during the fight.
Adesanya did seem hesitant to fire his right hand from rounds 2 to 4 but, according to City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman, the reason was mental, not physical.
Bareman shot down Rogan’s broken hand theory during a recent interview on The MMA Hour where he confirmed ‘The Last Stylebender’ suffered no injuries at UFC 271 and left the Octagon scot-free.
“No, that’s more to do with something that happened in Rounds 2 through 4, trying to get that right-hand side going,” Bareman told Ariel Helwani (h/t Curtis Calhoun of MMA News). “But for whatever reason, Robert was making Israel a little anxious to throw not just the right hand but the right side in terms of the leg going a little bit.”
“[Israel] said not just the right side in terms of the upper body moving, but there was a block there that [Israel] tried to mitigate [his] way through each round. But for whatever reason, [he] wasn’t able to successfully get that right hand going the way we wanted to. So it wasn’t about a broken hand or anything, it was [mental].”
Adesanya dropped Whittaker in the first round and then used forward pressure and kicks to outpoint ‘The Reaper’ en route to a unanimous decision victory. The win marked Adesanya’s fourth title defense since he claimed the middleweight throne in 2019 with a knockout victory against Whittaker in the UFC 243 main event.
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