Robert Whittaker ‘not stoked’ to fight Israel Adesanya but feels he has ‘tricks’ he can roll out
Robert Whittaker wants to fight Israel Adesanya again, but it’s not high up on his list of priorities either.
Whittaker made it two wins in a row following an impressive unanimous decision victory over Jared Cannonier in the UFC 254 co-main event on Saturday.
As a result, he virtually cemented his place as the next title challenger for Adesanya with UFC president Dana White even revealing that a rematch was appealing to him.
As for how “The Reaper” feels about a rematch, he admits he’s not stoked to fight Adesanya again — having previously praised his high level of striking — but does feel a rematch would go differently.
For now, though, his plans only involve his family as he is expecting another child.
“He’s a tough fight, man,” Whittaker said at the post-fight press conference. “I’m not stoked to fight him. He’s a hard fight, he’s so good. And he only looked better in his last fight [laughing]. And the fact that he beat me once already.
“But I feel like I’ve got a couple of tricks I can roll out. I feel I can play it differently this time. But honestly, I know he’s trying to do everything else and good on him to do that. I’m not thinking about him. He can go up to light heavy or heavyweight. Doesn’t bother me. My plans are Christmas, my baby and hopefully, our timelines line up then.”
It would appear that getting revenge on Adesanya is not a major priority for Whittaker.
However, the Aussie simply feels he and “The Last Stylebender” are destined to fight again — even if he does end up facing somebody else before a rematch.
“I do want to fight him one day,” Whittaker added. “Whether it’s in my career or in the parking lot as two old fellas. I feel like our paths will cross again. As a warrior, it’s something I need to do.
“But I’m not worried about who I fight next. My whole mentality with this game is you line them up, I’ll knock them down — I’m pretty good at that.”
Adesanya defeated Whittaker via second-round knockout to become the middleweight champion at UFC 243 in October last year.
Combat sports fan who loves a good body shot.
I don’t know, I think your quote is incorrect. Sounds to me he said “He’s a tough fight but I’m stoked to fight him”. It’s a bit hard to hear though admittedly.
Hi Michael, thanks for commenting. Fortunately, being Australian, I can say with confidence that Rob said, “He’s a tough fight, man, I’m not stoked to fight him.” 👍
I hope Whitaker shuts Adensaya’s big mouth.