Israel Adesanya Turns His Knockout of Robert Whittaker Into an NFT Ahead of Rematch

New Zealand mixed martial artist Israel Adesanya has mocked his challenger at UFC 271, Robert Whitaker, with an NFT of his knockout win in their first fight.
Image source: SCMP

Quick take:

  • Israel Adesanya has turned his UFC knockout of Robert Whittaker into an NFT.
  • The mixed martial artist mocked his counterpart on social media showing off a chain fitted with the NFT.
  • The two fighters meet in the main event rematch at UFC 271 on Saturday night.

Nigerian-born mixed martial artist Israel Adesanya has converted his knockout of Robert Whittaker into a non-fungible token (NFT). The New Zealand-based Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion mocked his counterpart by showing off the knockout NFT fitted in a chain around his neck on social media.

Adesanya will attempt to defend his Middleweight title for the fourth successive time on Saturday night against his Australian nemesis. He punched his way through to a knockout win in the second round of the first fight.

Based on the New Zealander’s social media activity, the rematch is shaping out to be a thriller with fans expecting Whittaker to respond to Adesanya’s NFT show-off.

The Middleweight champion is known for his mind games leading to a fight, and many believe this could be one of those.

In the days leading to their first encounter, Adesanya tried and successfully broke Whittaker’s mental fortitude ahead of the fight, resulting in a resounding knockout win. This time though, Whittaker seems to have strengthened his mentality, refusing to be influenced by Adesanya’s mind games. 

The defending champion has been ramping up the trash talk, as expected ahead of major fights in the UFC. The fighter has lost just once in his MMA career, losing only when decided to go up a weight category to challenge Jan Błachowicz for the UFC Light Heavyweight title last March. 

He has since bounced back, successfully defending his Middleweight title against Marvin Vettori in June.

Adesanya’s commemoration of his win against Whittaker by minting an NFT comes at a time when the NFT craze is sweeping across multiple industries that involve celebrities. YouTuber turned boxer, Logan Paul has been one of the most popular celebrities pouncing on the NFT hype.

On Thursday, news broke that the social media influencer had filed for trademarks for an NFT marketplace and a decentralised autonomous organization (DAO) venture. 

In May last year, Paul had indicated his desire to compete in an MMA fight before his retirement.

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