UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is ready to run it back with Robert Whittaker in 2022, and he sounds more motivated than ever.
Adesanya is coming off of his dominant performance against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263. He outpointed Vettori and for the most part, limited any chance of the title challenger taking him down to the canvas.
Adesanya has emerged as one of the top stars in the UFC today, beginning with his first win over Whittaker to earn the belt at UFC 243. During a recent video on his YouTube channel, Adesanya explained his motivation in facing a familiar opponent.
“He’s accepted his loss,” Adesanya said. “He finally admitted that I was in his head, and he was emotional, and I was like, ‘Yeah, you finally admitted what I was saying this whole f*cking time,’ so that makes me take him seriously. He’s accepted that, so that makes me take him seriously that OK, he’s got a point to prove, as well.
“He’s been training. He’s motivated. That gets me up in the morning to shut him up again worse than the first time. That’s what gets me motivated.” (h/t MiddleEasy)
Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker Have Had Their Fair Share Of Tension
Adesanya and Whittaker, two of Oceania’s biggest athletic superstars, had their fair share of trash talk in the lead-up to their first fight. Adesanya felt he got in Whittaker’s head and the mental warfare was a major reason for the knockout finish.
Whittaker has managed to get back to the title shot after three-straight wins over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum.
If Adesanya can get past Whittaker once again, it could be even more difficult to find a legitimate challenger to his middleweight belt. But, Whittaker is looking to get revenge at UFC 271.
What is your prediction for Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker 2?