Interim UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya will officially meet undisputed middleweight champion Robert Whittaker at October’s UFC 243.
Although the anticipated unification fight doesn’t yet have a location, one of 2019’s most interesting UFC fights is still official. ‘The Last Stylebender’ and ‘The Reaper’ were both in attendance for today’s UFC Summer press conference. Adesanya most recently won the interim title by outlasting Kelvin Gastelum in a five-round war at UFC 236 in April.
He came out the winner, but he was in trouble on more than one occasion. Asked about being tested at the presser today, Adesanya noted something was still different. That was the fact that his cardio was stronger later in the telling fight than it was in the first round.
Adesanya then claimed you couldn’t say the same about Whittaker based on his last fight against Yoel Romero:
“That last fight for me, look at this, you think you have a limit. When I got to that fifth round, I looked better than I did in the first round. I don’t know anyone here that can even talk about their gas tank being that way. Look at him when he fought Romero when he got to that point.”
True, Whittaker was rocked and dropped by the Cuban powerhouse. But he also beat a man most have trouble with twice in a row. It’s tough to say how much left Whittaker has for Adesanya right now, but his fighting spirit can’t be in question.
Pushed Past His Limit
And while he was hurt by Gastelum, Adesanya pointed out that he was never dropped like Whittaker was by Romero. There he reached his limit and surpassed it:
“Like I say, he keeps getting dropped. My a** never hit the ground once. When I got rocked, I came back like a champion and dropped him like, four or five times. So, I know where my limit is and I push past it. And guess what? It’s still infinite. We always have another plateau to go, so hey.”
Never Going Back
With that said, Adesanya then predicted a quick finish of ‘The Reaper’ following the grueling UFC 236:
“I’m not going back there anymore, I’m gonna make this one quick like you said.”
A bold prediction from one of the fastest-rising stars in MMA. But with six wins in six fights since February 2018, it’s becoming increasingly harder to doubt any of Adesanya’s predictions.
Will ‘The Reaper’ finally put an end to ‘Stylebender’s’ run to the top?