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Robert Whittaker doesn’t like Israel Adesanya too much, but believes he has skillset to beat Paulo Costa

Robert Whittaker doesn’t like Israel Adesanya too much, but believes he has skillset to beat Paulo Costa

Israel Adesanya crushes Rob Whittaker with a right hand

Robert Whittaker will undoubtedly be keeping an eye on the planned middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa.

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It has been reported that Adesanya will finally defend his middleweight title against Costa in the main event of UFC 253 which is set to take place September 19.

Adesanya, of course, became the 185-pound king following his impressive knockout win over Whittaker back in October.

“The Reaper” hasn’t competed since, but will look to walk the path back to regaining his title starting with a potential win over Darren Till in the UFC Fight Island 3 headliner this weekend.

As for how Adesanya vs. Costa plays out, it could go either way.

But Whittaker believes “The Last Stylebender” has what it takes to come out on top — even if he doesn’t like him too much.

“Who can say? I think Adesanya has the skillset necessary to beat Costa,” Whittaker said during media day. “He’s very technical, he’s very good. He’s a good fighter. Don’t like him very much but he’s a good fighter.

“But Costa’s dangerous. He’s so explosive, he’s got mad cardio and he hits like a truck. Look at the size of him. I’m sure that does something, that has something to do with why he keeps hurting people. ‘Size doesn’t matter’ — look at the size of him! You fight him then and tell me it doesn’t matter. Yeah, let’s find out.”

Whittaker not liking Adesanya likely stems from the heated buildup they had leading up to their middleweight title fight last year.

But it’s not anything new according to the Aussie — he doesn’t like nor dislike any of his middleweight foes.

“To be honest, I don’t like anyone in the middleweight division,” Whittaker added. “If you’re in the middleweight division, I don’t really like you. But, I don’t dislike you either. So don’t get that confused. Don’t dislike, don’t like — neutral.”

Given his previous status as a champion, a win over Till could see Whittaker go next in line in challenging the winner of the UFC 253 main event. And it wouldn’t be surprising if he was rooting for Adesanya to come out on top.

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