Robert Whittaker Still Believes He Can Beat Adesanya
Although Robert Whittaker suffered a knockout title defeat at UFC 243, he seems to have left it ‘all in the octagon.’ “The Reaper” suffered a second-round KO loss to Israel Adenaya inside a packed house at Marvel Stadium which lost him his middleweight title. Although Rob lost the title and the bout, he still showed up at the post-fight press conference. An act that many fighters that lose tend to shy away from. Not only does Whittaker believe he can beat Adesanya, but he also believes he was having great success in the contest.
As cliche as it sounds, MMA, at it’s highest level, is the ultimate chess match. Two highly skilled competitors could trade blows back and forth until one makes a mistake that costs them the entire match. That is how Whittaker viewed the loss to Adesanya. And, he spoke about it during the post-fight press conference.
UFC 243 Post Fight Press Conference
Although Whittaker took the stand for only around 10 minutes, he still faced the media without fear. Even in defeat, Rob displayed the attributes of a respectful warrior.
When asked about his performance, Whittaker declared that he believes he actually didn’t perform poorly. In fact, he maintained the idea that he was having success and just got ‘caught.’
“I feel like I can beat him (Adesanya). I feel like I have the skillset to beat him. But we clashed heads, and I came off second best,” said Whittaker. ”
I got caught. Hats off to him. He’s a great striker and congratulations. But like I said: I’m not going anywhere. I’m still one of the best in the world. I’ve always claimed that title. I’m one of the best in the world. I got the title once.”
Whittaker also spoke about his belief that he was having a good amount of success in the bout. Acknowledging his check hook defense needs work, Rob believed the rest of his performance displayed heart.
“I wasn’t in awe of his striking, and I was confident in my own, and I was having great success. I need to work on that check-hook defense. We went out there and put our hearts on it, and it happens. We’re two of the best strikers in the world together, and that’s what happens. Someone is going to get caught, and unfortunately tonight it was me,” said Whittaker.
State of the Middleweight Division
Although Rob has the confidence to beat Adesanya in a rematch, he may have to wait a little longer than he would like.
Israel has stated that he would like to clean out the Middleweight division. Currently, the division is full of contenders that would love a crack at the title. Names such as Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero, and Jared Cannonier have yet to face Adesanya in their ascension to the top half of the division.
In addition, Adesanya has expressed his desire to take on Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones. While Whittaker’s confidence is high during his defeat, the loss may have set him back further than he believes.
Hopefully, Whittaker can continue to be healthy and become more active in the cage. One or two more wins, and he’s right back into contention for the middleweight title he once held.