Former UFC middleweight champion, Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker seems to have earned his title rematch with kingpin, Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya – with a 29-28 (x3) unanimous decision win to knock back surging contender, Jared ‘The Killa Gorilla’ Cannonier.

In a largely kickboxing back-and-forth, Whittaker fired off a picture-perfect jab throughout the three-round affair, with MMA Lab mainstay, Cannonier scoring punishing leg kicks behind the left-knee of the former champion.

Taking the opening two rounds, closely – Whittaker sealed the deal in the third and final round with a patented snap right high-kick, rattling Cannonier. Assuming mount, Whittaker couldn’t find a finish, with the resilient Cannonier displaying his massive heart to ride out a worrying moment before the close of the final round.

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Below, check out the highlights from Whittaker’s entertaining back-and-forth with Cannonier.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.