Former undisputed middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker has heaped praise on his former two-time foe, Israel Adesanya – claiming the newly found ability of pushing the pace in recent title fights for the City Kickboxing staple should be commended.
Whittaker, the current number two ranked middleweight contender, has twice fought two-time and current undisputed titleholder, Adesanya, dropping first a title unification knockout loss, before rematching the latter, and suffering a close decision loss.
Bouncing back to the winner’s enclosure back in Paris last September, Whittaker retained his status as the number one contender with a one-sided unanimous decision victory over common-foe and recent UFC Vegas 75 headliner, Marvin Vettori.
Returning to the Octagon at UFC 290 during International Fight Week next month, Whittaker will draw the current number four rated, Dricus du Plessis – in an officially billed title eliminator fight, with the victor fighting Adesanya for Octagon gold before the turn of the year.
Robert Whittaker heaps praise on former opponent, Israel Adesanya
Attempting to avenge a pair of title fight defeats to the Nigerian-Kiwi, Whittaker has applauded the former’s ability to push the pace in recent championship defenses, describing his style and new gameplan as “dangerous”.
“Switching stance is hard – it’s hard,” Robert Whittaker said during a recent interview with MMArcade Podcast. “Defensively switching stance is super, super hard. And we saw that hole in (Jared) Cannonier’s game when he was pushing the pace – Adesanya switches stance with the best of them. He’s almost as good in orthodox as he is in southpaw. I think a big part of that though is due to the way he fights holistically, which is he fights at distance, he uses his range.”
“Cannonier – when he switches stance – generally is fighting from a little bit more of a distance,” Robert Whittaker explained. “His (Israel Adesanya) new gameplan, going in there pushing the pace whilst still switching stances, was dangerous.” (Transcribed by MMA News)