Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Whittaker Unloads On The “Just Take Adesanya Down” Brigade

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has given a firm and hilarious response to those suggesting a victory over Israel Adesanya is as simple as “take him down.”

Whittaker and Adesanya are set to share the Octagon for the second time in this weekend’s UFC 271 main event. The pair first collided at UFC 243 in 2019. Having seen the gold ripped from his grasp in his home country, “The Reaper” will be out for revenge and redemption come February 12.

While both men have been in fine form at 185 pounds since their meeting, racking up three wins each, Adesanya did suffer his first professional defeat in the period between his Whittaker matchups.

The first blemish on his record came last March in his pursuit of two-division championship glory. Against then-titleholder Jan Blachowicz, “The Last Stylebender” was beaten on the scorecards after being taken down and controlled in the championship rounds.

Unsurprisingly, some fans pointed to Blachowicz’s performance and labeled it the “blueprint” to beat Adesanya. But just three months later, the Nigerian-New Zealander maintained his middleweight dominance by defending Marvin Vettori’s takedown attempts and outpointing the Italian across five rounds.

Why, then, are we still seeing the same hypothesis on Adesanya’s wrestling being thrown around? Whittaker believes it’s because those who haven’t fought professionally don’t have a grasp on the mechanics and mindset involved in fighting.

During a recent appearance on Submission Radio, “The Reaper” suggested there’s no way anyone who hasn’t competed at the highest level of fighting can comprehend the feeling of being in a scrap.

“I don’t think anyone, anyone who doesn’t fight at the highest level has any real grasp on what it feels like to be in a fight,” said Whittaker. “And I mean anyone, anyone who hasn’t fought at the highest level; they can’t fully grasp how hard it is to do certain things in a fight, or what’s going through your mind during a fight, or how high the stakes are, and how heavy the pressure is. Unless you fight at the highest level, nobody knows. You can’t know.”

With that sentiment in mind, it’s no surprise Whittaker is so frustrated at one portion of the MMA fanbase…

Whittaker: If It’s That Simple, Why Hasn’t Anybody Done It?

Taking the opportunity to vent his annoyance at one pre-UFC 271 narrative, Whittaker laid into those who continue to brand his path to victory against Adesanya as being as simple as a takedown.

Understandably, he said if it’s that simple, why have 20 middleweights failed to have their hand raised against Adesanya?

“People are saying, ‘You just gotta get him on his back.’ Why hasn’t anybody done it?! Why hasn’t anybody done it?! If it’s that simple, why has nobody in the history of Adesanya’s career just taken him down and held him down for five rounds? Why? Because he’s fucking hard to take down! You know what I mean? He is a nightmare to take down. He’s got long limbs, he’s got long arms, and I’m pretty sure he works a little bit of wrestling defense; I just have an inkling that’s what he does,” Whittaker added with sarcasm.

“When I see people just like, ‘Ah, it’s simple, you just take him down.’ Yeah, it is simple. You know what else would be simple? If I get a piece of paper and write down a game plan that says, ‘Punch him in the chin.’ That’s a simple game plan that is sure-fire to win,” Whittaker continued. “It’s a little harder to pull off, you know, when you have all the factors of a title fight going through that.”

Concluding his entertaining rant, Whittaker reminded the “just take Adesanya down” brigade that game plans are met with a moving opponent attempting to defend against it, something that is often not considered.

“Remember, it’s not like a game plan where you give it to someone and then all they have to do is execute that game plan on a dummy that isn’t moving; that isn’t trying to actively counter-act whatever the hell it is that you’re doing [LAUGHS]. I went on a bit of a rant there,” concluded Whittaker.

It’s safe to say that if you see Robert Whittaker walking around Houston this week, don’t say the words, “take Adesanya down” or “just do what Blachowicz did…”

Do you think Robert Whittaker has what it takes to dethrone Israel Adesanya?

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