UFC 290 results: Dricus Du Plessis TKOs Robert Whittaker, has intense faceoff with Israel Adesanya

The middleweight title picture now appears crystal clear after Dricus Du Plessis took care of business in the biggest fight of his career thus far.

In the feature bout on the main card of UFC 290, Du Plessis (20-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) stepped into the octagon at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to face former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (25-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC). Despite entering as a sizeable underdog, Du Plessis’ hands led to a TKO finish at 2:23 of the second round.

The fighters didn’t waste much time before getting into the action, but Whittaker was much sharper in the initial exchanges. Showing off his well-rounded abilities, the former champ took Du Plessis down in the middle of the round, although they quickly returned to their feet to continue trading strikes.

Du Plessis then began landing nicely in combinations and dragged Whittaker to the mat with a headlock. On the ground, he sliced open Whittaker with heavy ground and pound strikes to put a stamp on the opening round.

Early in Round 2, Whittaker landed heavy punches and offered a hard head kick that was partially blocked. But Du Plessis didn’t back down. He weathered the initial storm and waited for his chance to unleash strikes. When the time was right, he found the opening he wanted, and dropped Whittaker with a sharp right hand.

Whittaker fell to a knee, and slowly returned to his feet. Du Plessis then swarmed him with punches upstairs and to the body, causing Whittaker to drop down again against the fence. The referee stepped in to stop the action after Whittaker didn’t improve his position, and the celebration for Du Plessis was on.

After the fight, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was shown on the broadcast talking to UFC president Dana White. A moment later, Adesanya entered the cage during Du Plessis’ post-fight interview Joe Rogan, creating an intense moment between the two fighters.

The verbal exchanges were heated and filled with expletives, but the two fighters did not come to blows. It’s apparent that this is the matchup the promotion wants next for the middleweight title.

“Stillknocks” has won all six of his UFC appearances, including three consecutive stoppages. On the other end, Whittaker’s momentum is halted after a unanimous decision win over Marvin Vettori in his previous outing.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 290 results include:

  • Dricus Du Plessis def. Robert Whittaker via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:23

  • Dan Hooker def. Jalin Turner via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Bo Nickal def. Val Woodburn via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:38

  • Robbie Lawler def. Niko Price via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:38

  • Tatsuro Taira def. Edgar Chairez via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)

  • Denise Gomes def. Yazmin Jauregui via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:20

  • Alonzo Menifield def. Jimmy Crute via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 1:55

  • Vitor Petrino def. Marcin Prachnio via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 3:42

  • Cameron Saaiman def. Terrence Mitchell via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:10

  • Jesus Aguilar def. Shannon Ross via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:17

  • Esteban Ribovics def. Kamuela Kirk via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 290.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie