Sunday, January 23, 2022

Whittaker Responds To Being “Sonned” By Adesanya; Assures Rematch

Robert Whittaker is putting his foot down about who and what should be next after his victory at UFC Vegas 24: a world title shot against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

It has been a year and a half since Israel Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker to become the undisputed UFC middleweight champion. After dropping the title to Adesanya, Whittaker has done everything possible to earn a rematch. Many thought this was already the case after he won his second straight fight over a highly ranked opponent in Jared Cannonier at UFC 254.

The main reason UFC President Dana White felt differently is that, in his estimation, Whittaker seemed passive about receiving a title shot. For this reason, White saw no obstacles between booking the champion vs. champion fight between Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz earlier this year at UFC 259.

Israel Adesanya stuns Robert Whittaker at UFC 243, knocking out world  welterweight champion in round two - ABC News
Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker Compete At UFC 243. Image Credit: Michael Dodge

Now, Adesanya’s loss to Blachowicz has the champion on his way back down to 185, and Robert Whittaker picked up a third-straight win after beating Kelvin Gastelum last night. And this time, Whittaker made sure there was nothing that could be lost in translation as far as what he wants next.

“It’s funny, after the win, everybody’s calling for (a titles shot) for me,” Whittaker said at the post-fight press conference. “That’s kind of how I’ve always taken to the approach of fighting, is that if you beat ’em all, you’re eventually at the top. It’s a simple path, and there is no other fight that makes sense to me other than that title shot, and that’s the shot that I want and that I’m getting.”

Whittaker Responds To Adesanya’s Passive-Aggressive Jab

The former champion is really putting his foot down in seemingly not requesting or even demanding a title shot, but simply asserting that it’s the way it’s gonna be. This was one of the boldest, if not greatest moves from Whittaker throughout an evening where he won Fight of the Night once again. Of course, the champion himself bore witness to Whittaker’s victory and decided to chime in with a subtle reminder of how their first fight played out.

“Good job my son,” Adesanya wrote.

Whittaker took this shot from his former and potentially future opponent in stride.

“I’ve played video games my entire life; I am no stranger to trash talk,” Whittaker said. “And honestly, he gets to do it. He won the last fight between us both, so I guess it was coming, right? It’s just him being him, I guess.”

In the first fight between these two great middleweights, they filled the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia with over 57,000 fans. Now that Whittaker has already asserted that the rematch will happen, he is even going forward with planning potential dates and locations for the rematch.

“I think the borders in New Zealand are the best they’ve ever been, so September, I think we can get a packed out stadium there and once again pump the industry down there and MMA as a whole,” Whittaker envisioned.

The #3-ranked Marvin Vettori has also been campaigning for a title shot against Adesanya, and he was in attendance for the UFC Vegas 24 event. But with Whittaker already being the #1-contender prior to picking up another big win last night, it is fair to believe that The Reaper’s confidence in an impending Adesanya/Whittaker II bout being made is warranted.

Do you think Robert Whittaker is next for Israel Adesanya beyond any reasonable doubt?

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