Former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker was at a crossroads following his defeat at the hands of Israel Adesanya.
Back in Oct. 2019, Whittaker put the 185-pound gold at stake against “The Last Stylebender.” There was some heat going into the matchup as Whittaker wasn’t a fan of Adesanya’s brash personality. Ultimately, it was “Izzy” who scored the second-round TKO finish.
Finding That Spark Again
In a sitdown interview with FOX Sports Australia, Robert Whittaker revealed that he had questions surrounding his fighting future after being stopped by Adesanya.
“After the loss with Israel I needed to — I took a step to the left, okay. So, I left the game and I didn’t know whether I’d come back to the game because at the time I wasn’t enjoying anything. I didn’t enjoy the leadup to the fight, I didn’t enjoy fight week, I didn’t enjoy the media. I wasn’t enjoying myself day-to-day and I had to understand why I was doing things, how I was doing things, why I wanted to do things, and where I wanted to go. That sort of thing.”
Whittaker said that while he did come close to calling it quits, he ended up finding his love for MMA competition again.
“As close as someone can be to giving up the game because I left the game thinking I can — with no reservation as if like, ‘Oh I’ll come back in six months.’ I didn’t give myself that one. I said, ‘I may not come back.’ In doing so, it drove home the point that this is what I love doing and this is what I’m drawn to. This is who I am because within a month I was itching to train and itching to fight. The hunger and the drive just got worse and stronger and stronger and stronger.”
Whittaker will get the opportunity to avenge his loss to Adesanya. The two will meet again in the main event of UFC 271 on Feb. 12. The action will emanate from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.