Ahead of his UFC middleweight championship rematch with current kingpin, Israel Adesanya next month, former titleholder, Robert Whittaker has reflected deeply on his title unification loss to the City Kickboxing standout back in October 2019.
Headlining the Melbourne, Australia card on home soil, Whittaker dropped his first and only loss at middleweight since, succumbing to second round strikes against the then-interim middleweight champion at UFC 243. The loss snapped Whittaker’s lengthy 12-fight undefeated run at 185lbs.
Robert Whittaker rides a three-fight winning run into his UFC 271 rematch with Israel Adesanya
In the time since, however, Whittaker has successfully rebounded to title contention once again, and rides an impressive three-fight winning spree into his UFC 271 rematch on February 12.
However, questions have been constantly posed to the Melbourne-born technician ahead of his title re-run with Adesanya, particularly regarding a reckless approach to the 2019 title unification bout, that resulted in his championship loss.
Reflecting on the result and his performance during a recent interview with LowKick MMA reporter, Jordan Ellis, Whittaker admitted that he wasn’t satisfied with the display he turned in – regardless of result.
“That’s the over-arching feature: it’s the feeling I get moving into this next fight,” Robert Whittaker said. “It’s that, you know – I am confident, and I am satisfied with who I am, and why I do it, and what I’m doing to get to this fight (at UFC 271). That, when I get in there, I’m going to give it my absolute, 100 percent. And I will be satisfied with the result if I can do that.”
“Because I didn’t get that satisfaction after the first fight (against Israel Adesanya),” Robert Whittaker continued. “I lost, but I didn’t feel like I gave 100 percent, I didn’t feel like – it wasn’t me out there. I felt like, in the lead-up, it wasn’t how I wanted to do things. So like I said, if I can do all that in this fight moving forward, I’ll be satisfied.”
Since his knockout loss to Adesanya, Whittaker has compiled a three-fight winning run, taking unanimous decision wins against the trio of Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and in April, against common-foe, Kelvin Gastelum.