Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker isn’t expecting him and Israel Adesanya to talk a lot of trash ahead of UFC 271.
Whittaker lost the middleweight title to Adesanya at UFC 243 in front of a raucous crowd in Melbourne, AU. After getting knocked out, Whittaker has managed to work his way back to the title shot and possible revenge against Adesanya.
Whittaker and Adesanya dove head-first into Australia vs. New Zealand rivalry ahead of UFC 243. While there wasn’t obvious hate and disdain between the two of them, there was surely tension and a bit of mental warfare leading up to the fight.
During an exclusive interview with LowKickMMA’s Jordan Ellis, Whittaker spoke about the possibility of lightning striking twice when it comes to the pre-fight fanfare.
“The only thing I can control is myself and my actions,” Whittaker said. “I have completely come to terms with why I do things, how I do things, and my ego certainly won’t be a problem going into the next fight.
“I don’t see myself getting affected as much. I think him seeing that he won’t try and push it,” Whittaker continued. I think we can have a really respectful fight. It’s the second fight and we’re the two biggest names down this side of the world so, yeah, I think it’ll be something different.”
Robert Whittaker Has Worked His Way Back To The UFC Middleweight Title
Whittaker has won three fights in a row since his first UFC middleweight loss to Adesanya. He’s earned three-straight unanimous decisions over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum over the past two years.
During this same time, Adesanya has emerged as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world and has dominated challengers to his throne. He most recently put on a striking clinic against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263.
Regardless of what happens at UFC 271, it’s clear that Whittaker and Adesanya will be directly linked for years to come. This time around, it’s all business between the two best middleweights in the world.
What is your prediction for Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya 2?