Israel Adesanya Has Kind Words For Robert Whittaker After His Big Win Over Ikram Aliskerov: ‘Robbie’s That Guy!’

During a recent appearance on the Today Show Australia, Israel Adesanya took the moment to congratulate a former opponent on his recent victory.

Robert Whittaker produced back-to-back wins when he stopped Ikram Aliskerov in the late-notice main event of UFC Fight Night Saudi Arabia on June 22.

“The Reaper” is now back into the title picture after getting Aliskerov out of there in the first round to build on his decision victory against Paulo Costa at UFC 298 this past February.

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Adesanya and Whittaker have met two times inside the Octagon, with “The Last Stylebender” coming out on top on both occasions.

While reacting to footage of his iconic UFC 243 walkout in Melbourne, the Nigerian-New Zealander took a second to praise his Australian peer.

“I was fighting the local hero, Rob Whittaker, who just actually had a great win a week or two weeks ago, but I was fighting him here.

“It was beautiful. Robbie’s that guy. We fought twice. We always have history but it was good to see him back in the win column, and he’s coming for me, so I got to stay ready.”

Israel Adesanya Says Dricus Du Plessis Feud Is About Respecting ‘The Guys Who Came Before You’

If Adesanya’s fight with Whittaker — which pitted Australia and New Zealand up against one another — was a big deal, it has nothing on the grudge match that is on deck for UFC 305.

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“The Last Stylebender” is set to finally go up against the current middleweight world champion, South Africa’s Dricus Du Plessis, and it’s safe to say that they don’t see eye-to-eye.

Much of the tension between them stems from comments made by Du Plessis about how him winning the middleweight title and bringing it back to Africa would make him the first true African champion because he still lives and trains out of the continent.

Adesanya spoke about this during his recent TV appearance, stating that the lack of respect being shown to the people that came before the current champion is where he feels his next opponent crossed the line.

“For me, it’s you have to honor the guys who came before you. He’s the guy saying, ‘I’m the real African champion,’ but look, you wouldn’t have been able to do what you’re doing at home in South Africa if myself, Francis Ngannou, and Kamaru (Usman) didn’t pave the way for you. So you have to respect your elders and I’ll make sure I do that to him.”

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Du Plessis and Adesanya will headline the UFC 305 pay-per-view event in Perth, Australia, on August 17. The bout comes almost a year on from the latter’s most recent appearance, an upset loss to Sean Strickland in Sydney.

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