Robert Whittaker wants to unify the UFC middleweight titles with Israel Adesanya in his “backyard” of Sydney, and he thinks the matchup is favorable to him.
Whittaker (20-4 MMA, 11-2 UFC), the UFC middleweight champion, said he was closely watching Saturday’s interim 185-pound title bout that saw Adesanya (17-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) defeat Kelvin Gastelum (15-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) by unanimous decision to set up a title unification matchup.
The fight will be a big one for the weight class, particularly because Adesanya hasn’t been hesitant to throw verbal jabs in Whittaker’s direction at nearly every turn. Whittaker said the whole thing stems from an interview where he said Adesanya “wasn’t as good as he thinks he is” and that his UFC 234 victory over Anderson Silva wasn’t particularly impressive.
Whittaker said the performance and win over Gastelum was a step up, but it also gave him great confidence that he can take away Adesanya’s undefeated record.
“I think this fight forced him to draw a little bit more out of the tank, a little bit more will power, a little bit more heart,” Whittaker told “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” on ESPN. “You can see in the fight his ups and downs. A little bit more trials, a little bit more obstacles he had to get over. The adversity he had to get through to make sure he lasted to the end of the fight. I thought it was an amazing fight from both guys. Continue reading >>>
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