Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker don’t exactly have a feud the likes of Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington but they aren’t likely to be friends.
Adesanya and Whittaker will mix it up a second time on Feb. 12 at UFC 271. Back in Oct. 2019, Adesanya stopped Whittaker in the second round via TKO to become the undisputed UFC Middleweight Champion.
Whittaker had been clear before the fight that he wasn’t a fan of “Izzy’s” personality. More recently, however, Whittaker admitted that he showed disdain for Adesanya but for no real reason.
During an interview with mainevent, Israel Adesanya said that he and Whittaker simply go their own way.
“I don’t know about being friends one day but f*ck, I don’t think that far ahead. The guy, I don’t like the guy, he doesn’t like me. It’s plain and simple. After the fight we show respect and yeah, I wish him well but unfortunately, he has to fight me.
“We’re like stepbrothers, we don’t get along. Just leave it that way maybe.”
As far as the magnitude of the rematch is concerned, Adesanya says there’s something special about the rivalry.
“100 percent. Look, we’re just two guys who fight or love to fight. All we’re doing is — cause we’re in it right now we have our head down but then later on in life, I’m sure when we look back at these times, we’ll realize like even just the last fight [UFC 243], how special that whole event was, how special those moments were, key moments.
“Unfortunately, he came up short that night. Fortunately for me, it’s part of my history too. So, yeah we’re living right now but then five, 10 years, f*cking 50 years from now they’ll look back on these times it’ll be special to think about it. People will tell their kids’ kids. It’s cool to think about but I don’t really focus on that right now cause right now we’re in it, we’re working. That’s it.”
Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2 will be held inside the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. “The Last Stylebender” is going for his fourth successful UFC Middleweight Title defense.