Saturday, May 28, 2022

Israel Adesanya Shares What He Told Whittaker Directly After Rematch

UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya had a message for Robert Whittaker just seconds after their rematch at UFC 271.

Adesanya and Whittaker went five full rounds this time around in their second battle in the Octagon. The two went toe-to-toe on the feet and ground, but Adesanya was seen as more active throughout the fight.

Adesanya defeated Whittaker the first time around at UFC 243 with a vicious knockout. He has emerged as one of the UFC’s biggest stars since earning the belt.

Israel Adesanya
Image Credit: Carmen Mandato/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Following their rematch, Adesanya and Whittaker shared a brief moment in the cage. The two appeared to bury the hatchet of their rivalry and show mutual respect for one another.

During his UFC 271 post-fight press conference, Adesanya revealed the content of his conversation with Whittaker as the fifth round came to a close.

“I said, you know, ‘I don’t like you, you don’t like me, but I respect you,’” Adesanya said. “And he said the same thing and ‘I’m sure in another life we could be friends.’ And I said ‘maybe.’ But yeah, we’re just two guys trying to be the best in the world. But tonight I’m the best in the world.”

Adesanya will more than likely face Jared Cannonier next after Cannonier knocked out Brunson just a couple of fights before the Whittaker rematch. He has been a target of Adesanya’s for months, and Adesanya has praised him as the dark horse of the division.

Outside of Cannonier, there aren’t a ton of first-time title challengers waiting for a shot. There is Sean Strickland, who recently earned a unanimous decision win over Jack Hermansson, but he may need to win one more to earn a shot at Adesanya.

As for Whittaker, he’ll need to win a few more to have any hope of earning a third fight with Adesanya. While their rematch was close and competitive, it’s hard to see a scenario in which these two go to battle for a third time without Whittaker going on a torrid streak.

What are your thoughts on Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier next?

Related Articles
Related Articles