Former UFC middleweight champ Robert Whittaker is not eyeing for the Adesanya rematch immediately but wants to fight him for sure and he knows it will be a hard fight.
Whittaker has now won back-to-back fights against Cannonier and Darren Till since he dropped the 185-pound title to Adesanya at UFC 243 in October 2019. In that fight, he was dropped twice and lost by second-round TKO.
Following his UFC 254 unanimous decision win over Jared Cannonier on Saturday, Whittaker’s focus turned to two things: Christmas and the expected birth of a newborn child. Until he meets his child, he won’t overindulge in the impending fight preparation.
“I’ve got Christmas and the newborn in January,” Whittaker said. “I don’t want to be thinking about a fight in the leadup to my newborn. With all my kids, I’ve been thinking about my fights. I’ve had my mind elsewhere. I felt like I wasn’t in the moment. I refuse to do that for this one.” (via MMAjunkie.com).
Whittaker talks about Adesanya rematch: He’s a hard fight
After Saturday’s UFC 254 co-main event in Abu Dhabi, Whittaker remained at the front of the middleweight contenders’ line. He won a convincing unanimous decision against Jared Cannonier, which was a fight to find out the next challenger for Adesanya’s UFC middleweight championship.
Whittaker is now 2-0 since dropping the middleweight title to Adesanya at UFC 243 last October and he’s well aware that they could see one another in the cage again shortly. \
Having experienced Adesanya’s skills firsthand, Whittaker was highly respectful of the “The Last Stylebender” even as he suggested that he will show something new in a second go-around.
“He’s a tough fight, man,” Whittaker said. “I’m 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. 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 for him to do that. I’m not thinking about him. Maybe I and he 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.”
At UFC 243 in October 2019, Adesanya defeated Whittaker by second-round TKO to claim the promotion’s 185-pound title. Although an Adesanya (20-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC) rematch isn’t an urgent matter for Whittaker, it’s something he thinks will happen sooner or later.
“I do want to fight him one day – one day,” Whittaker said. “Whether it’s in my career or the parking lot as two old fellas one day. I feel like our paths will cross again. As a warrior, it’s something I need to do. But I’m not worried about who I fight next. My whole mentality with this game is: ‘You line them up. I knock them down.’ I’m pretty good at that.”
If not the ‘Reaper’ the next possible challenge for Adesanya will be the winner of a fight between Till and Jack Hermansson scheduled for Dec. 5.
What do you guys think will be the next UFC middleweight challenger?
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