Robert Whittaker Surprised At Alex Pereira’s Rise, Breaks Down Matchup With Israel Adesanya

"The Reaper" gave his take on what a potential fight between Pereira & Adesanya might look like

Robert Whittaker, Israel Adesanya, Alex Pereira
Credit: Robert Whittaker, UFC (via Instagram & YouTube)

Robert Whittaker was not surprised to see Alex Pereira win but was surprised to see him leapfrog the rankings.

Former Glory two-division champion Alex Pereira escalated up to the sixth spot in the official middleweight rankings following an incredible knockout win over Sean Strickland at UFC 276. Their main card bout was set up perfectly just a fight before the headlining bout of the man Pereira’s looking to face next, the division title holder Israel Adesanya.

Robert Whittaker surprised by Alex Pereira’s rise in the rankings

In an interview with Submission Radio, Whittaker shared his thoughts on Pereira’s latest win. The 31-year-old Australian could see the outcome from the start but was astonished at how quickly “Poatan” got up considering he was unranked before his last fight.

“The surprise comes from how fast Pereira’s skyrocketed through the ranks to get that title shot. But really I think it’s a good fight, that’s a good fight to match up. Two tall dudes, striking, been there before, yeah I think it’ll be fun.

“Strickland definitely caught the wrong end of the stick there. He got caught. I don’t know what the plan was for him moving into it so I can’t talk about whether he delivered it or not but it happens, it happens in the game.”

When asked if the UFC was moving Pereira up to Adesanya before he faces someone more experienced in the division who could potentially hand him his first loss, Whittaker responded in the affirmative.

“Definitely, there’s a lot of different guys that’ll give him a really hard fight. But you know, it is what it is… That fight’s happening. He was placed well, these matches were placed well, his opponents were picked out, and he’s up there. They’ve made that fight, the revenge fight sort of thing happen and it’ll be a big show.”

Whittaker breaks down Adesanya vs. Pereira

Like many, “Bobby Knuckles” believes that their contest will likely be a kickboxing match. He highlighted an area that he believes could be the deciding factor.

“That’s an interesting fight. A big thing is going to be how Alex takes shots, and how he handles the shots from Adesanya with the smaller gloves because it’s not like Adesanya had a hard time, like an impossibly hard time hitting Alex in their kickboxing fights so we’ll see how he takes the shots.

“Adesanya’s got some of the best defensive striking in the game. It’s a punch and kicks each other to high heaven so that’ll be fun… I think it’s going to be a kickboxing fight. I’d be very very surprised otherwise.”

Whittaker would prefer Pereira to come out on top only because that could get him closer to a title fight.

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