Adesanya: Gastelum A Tougher Matchup Than Whittaker

Kelvin Gastelum Israel Adesanya
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

UFC interim middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has yet to taste defeat in the UFC and has been able to successfully roll on to a 6-0 promotional record in less than two years’ time. At UFC 243, Adesanya will face his toughest test to date from a rankings perspective when he faces the champ himself, Robert Whittaker in the main event. But in a recent interview with Eyes on the Game, Adesanya revealed that there is someone else he has defeated whom he deems to be a tougher challenge than Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum:

“No, I’ve seen Robert fight, and I’ve seen Kelvin fight….this doesn’t work this way, but if you compare the way they both fight, Kelvin doesn’t get dropped. The most he’s ever been knocked down in his whole career was in my fight. Robert gets dropped every other fight. But he’s a tough guy. He knows how to recover very well. But with me, you’re not gonna recover.”

Adesanya’s vote for Gastelum over Whittaker was uttered without a stutter, and The Last Style Bender plans on taking away some scraps from his wartime memories and adapt them into his arsenal for Whittaker come October 6th.

“I took away a piece of Kelvin, and I took away a piece of me. But definitely, I took away a lot of wisdom…a lot of wisdom and a lot of knowledge about my heart, my soul, the way I can go. So I know the darkness I can get to. And I know not a lot of men can take me there unless I take them with me.

And in true Adesanya fashion, his parting words contained a direct prediction for his upcoming brush with The Reaper:

“Smoking him. First round, second round, whatever it is, I’m smoking him,” Adesanya concluded.

Do you agree with Israel Adesanya? Was Kelvin Gastleum a tougher matchup for him than Robert Whittaker?