Israel Adesanya is not buying Robert Whittaker’s reputation as a good guy.
Adesanya will defend his middleweight title in a rematch against Whittaker in the UFC 271 headliner taking place February 12 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
It’s a rematch over two years in the making as Adesanya notably knocked Whittaker out in the second round of their UFC 243 meeting to become the new middleweight king.
Whittaker has since stated that he didn’t fight like his usual self and that his ego got in the way.
And for Adesanya — who took issue with Whittaker during the buildup to their first fight — those comments were vindication of what he always believed.
“It was his ego last time, but I called it from the fight,” Adesanya said in an interview with his sponsor Stake (via MMA Fighting). “I said at the time that he is acting out of character, and I also said he is not being himself.
“People kept saying what a good guy he is, but trust me he’s not. You don’t see that behind the scenes. And now he’s admitted it was his ego that got the best of him – well I told you so, he should have listened to me! What else can he say? He said after the fight that it was the best he’s ever felt, well I do not forget that. If he can get better, he’ll have to bring the best again, and I will beat him again.”
Israel Adesanya Predicts He’ll F*ck Robert Whittaker Up Again
The pair’s first fight was not even close with Whittaker swinging heavy and missing.
Adesanya, meanwhile, was patient and dropped Whittaker at the end of the first round. He would do so again in the second before delivering the final blows.
While Whittaker will have learned from his mistakes and will undoubtedly come out with a much better game plan, Adesanya believes it is all meaningless in the end.
“My prediction is that I am going to f*ck Whittaker up, again,” Adesanya said. “He can’t stand with me, so I know he will be forced to grapple. Last time he said Kevin Gastelum has given the blueprint on how to beat Adesanya,’ and now he’s saying ‘Jan has given the blueprint’…. he needs to write his own blueprint. If he wants to copy someone else’s work, then by all means try, because it went so well last time for him when we fought.
“Whittaker may have learnt from his mistakes from last time for maybe a round or so, but then trust me, he will revert back to those errors. Once he feels what he felt last time, he won’t know where to turn. Also, he didn’t even grapple with me last time, he didn’t really feel me. You can ask any of my previous opponents, they will tell you. So once he feels me in a grapple, then he will get shook again.”
Luckily for us, there’s just under two weeks until we get to see if Adesanya is proved right once again.