Monday, May 23, 2022

Whittaker Reveals The Changes He’s Made Ahead Of Adesanya Rematch

UFC middleweight contender Robert Whittaker has detailed the host of changes he’s made ahead of his second fight against reigning 185-pound king Israel Adesanya.

At UFC 243 in 2019, then-interim champion Adesanya secured undisputed status by ending the nine-fight, five-year unbeaten streak of then-titleholder Whittaker. Inside Melbourne, Australia’s Marvel Stadium, “The Reaper” was finished in front of a home crowd in the main event’s second round.

What followed was a period of uncertainty for the New Zealand-born Australian, who took time away from the sport to figure out what his future held. In the end, he returned to training revitalized and with a rejuvenated love for martial arts.

In his three fights since returning to action, Whittaker has been at his best, outpointing Darren Till and Kelvin Gastelum in UFC Fight Night main events, and securing a comfortable unanimous verdict on the scorecards against Jared Cannonier in the UFC 254 co-main event.

Those performances have led him back to the man who made him question his place in the sport. At UFC 271 this weekend, Whittaker will look to re-establish his middleweight dominance by taking the gold back from Adesanya.

Whittaker: “I’ve Changed So Many Things Since That Fight”

In the period since his championship defeat, it’s understandable Whittaker has made an abundance of changes to his team, training, and personal life.

While some have suggested it’s unlikely he’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments needed to hand Adesanya his first loss at middleweight, Whittaker and his team are confident of the opposite.

During an interview with LowKick MMA, Whittaker detailed the fresh looks and alterations he’s made to his preparation in the years since his first Octagon meeting with “The Last Stylebender,” changes which he believes have aided him both inside and outside the cage.

“All the ideas are fresh. There’s been so many changes. How long ago was that now? That’s a long time between fights. I’ve changed so many things since that fight,” said Whittaker. “I’ve changed coaching staff, I’ve changed locations, I’ve changed the way I train, why I train. I’ve changed myself as a person outside the Octagon, which directly impacts how I am inside, walking into it, how I deal with my training, how I develop my training, how I’m going through it all, how I’m going through the process. So, there’s been a lot of changes.”

Ultimately, whether he’s victorious on February 12 or not, Whittaker knows he’s made the necessary changes to feel satisfied with the UFC 271 result either way.

“I guess that’s the overriding feeling moving into this next fight,” Whittaker continued.

“It’s just that I am confident and I am satisfied with who I am and why I do it, and what I’m doing to get to this fight that when I get in there, I’m gonna give it my absolute 100%. And I will be satisfied with the result if I can do that. I didn’t get that satisfaction after the first fight.”

We’ll soon find out if Whittaker’s changes are enough to help him do what the likes of Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero, Anderson Silva, and Marvin Vettori couldn’t: beat Israel Adesanya.

Do you think Robert Whittaker can exact revenge on Israel Adesanya this Saturday?

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