Israel Adesanya has taken the mixed martial arts world by
Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to injuries. “The Reaper” has only fought three times in the last two years.
On the other side of the spectrum is Adesanya, who will be making his sixth walk to the Octagon since entering the UFC on Saturday night. He will take on Kelvin Gastelum for the interim middleweight title in the co-main event UFC 236. And although “Stylebender” is competing for the interim strap, he will consider it the real thing.
“I’ve been the champion since day one since I got here,” Adesanya said on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show. “A lot of people didn’t believe me, so that wasn’t my business, I believed me. I just have to prove me right because I always believed I was the champion, interim or not.”
Real Champ’s Inactivity
Adesanya has fought eight times in the same timeframe as Whittaker’s two fights. That’s a fact the Nigerian is quick to point out. He also points out the champion’s lack of a trash-talking game, yet another thing Adesanya excels in.
“Dude, the guy has fought twice in three years. Imagine me as champion in three years what I could do. My first year look what I did in UFC, so imagine me in three years what I could do,” he proclaimed. “And I actually work, I actually show up to work. Even though I don’t like it all the time, I actually get all the media shit done.”
“I actually perform. So yeah, he can be all like, ‘I’m not here to talk…’ get the f**k out of here. This is part of the game, this is how you become immortal in this game. I am doing my part and that’s all I care about. He can stay over there and do that part.”
If Adesanya does get his hand raised on Saturday night, he will earn a unification bout with Whittaker sometime later this year. The bout would likely take place in Australia.