Robert Whittaker calls rematch with Israel Adesanya ‘a hard fight’
Top contender Robert Whittaker has described a potential rematch against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya as ‘a hard fight,’ writes bjpenn.com.
After defeating Jared Cannonier in the co-main event of UFC 254, UFC president Dana White said Whittaker would likely be the next opponent for Adesanya. Of course, these two previously met at UFC 243 in October 2019. Whittaker was the champion heading into that fight but he lost his belt to Adesanya by knockout. Since then, Whittaker has won two straight fights against Cannonier and Darren Till to jump back into title contention, while Adesanya defended his belt against Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa.
With Whittaker now next in line to get another crack at the belt, “The Reaper” spoke to the media following UFC 254 and gave his thoughts on a rematch with Adesanya.
“He’s a tough fight, man. I’m (not) stoked to fight him. He’s a hard fight. He’s so good and he only looked better in his last fight. And the fact he beat me once already,” Whittaker said (via MMAjunkie.com).
“But I feel like I’ve got a couple of tricks I can roll out. I feel like I can play it differently this time. Honestly, I know he’s trying to do everything else, and good on him to do that. I’m not thinking about him. Maybe me and him shouldn’t think about it just for a little bit. He can go up to light heavy(weight) or heavyweight. Whatever he wants to do, it doesn’t bother me. My plans are Christmas, my baby, and then, hopefully, our timelines line up then.”
As Whittaker alluded to, Adesanya could choose to pursue superfights up a weight class against fighters such as Jon Jones, Jan Blachowicz, or even Stipe Miocic. But if he does fight at 185lbs on his next fight, the odds are on him fighting Whittaker again. There are other fighters like Jack Hermansson in the mix, but Whittaker is now the clear favorite.