Israel Adesanya isn’t feeling all the talk about Robert Whittaker and his improvements.
Israel Adesanya is preparing for a rematch with Robert Whittaker this coming Saturday night at UFC 271. Adesanya holds the win from the first meeting but a lot is being put on the improvements that Whittaker has made since their last meeting. Whittaker is 3-0 since his loss to Adesanya at UFC 243, and Adesanya has been hearing the growing buzz.
“Yes. Way too much,” Adesanya said of the weight being put on Whittaker’s improved skills (via MMA Fighting). “To the point where I’m like, did he invent a new move or something? Did he reinvent the jab or I don’t know what. He improved, yes, but not to the point where people have blown it up to be. The proportion. I think maybe people just have low standards, that’s all. I just have high standards.”
Adesanya was made some improvements himself since their last face-to-face in the OCtagon. However, he did experience his first loss when he decided to make a jump to light heavyweight and face off against Jan Blachowicz. Adesanya is still undefeated at middleweight, and he believes he still has what it takes to beat Whittaker and defend his title.
Whittaker is on a three-fight winning streak since losing the belt. He has faced some of the very best at 185 pounds and looked very good doing it. His last three were all decision victories over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum. Even though Whittaker’s wins proved he can battle out a tough win, Adesanya is less than impressed.
“He played the game very well against all three opponents, I feel. At the same time, you put those three guys together, they don’t amount to me. The way they play the game, it’s not the same. So like I said, (Georges St-Pierre impression) ‘I was not impressed by your performance.’”
If Whittaker’s skills have improved, then that will be on display at UFC 271. Whittaker has been eager to finally get his rematch and potentially win back his lost UFC belt on Feb. 12. As for Adesanya, he certainly has the confidence going into this fight, but will his own skills hold up?
Who do you have winning the middleweight title at UFC 271, Adesanya or Whittaker?