Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has opened up about his loss to Israel Adesanya ahead of their rematch. Robert Whittaker is all set to fight UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in a rematch at UFC 271. The duo previously fought in 2019 at UFC 243. That time it was Robert who was defending his middleweight championship against the top contender Israel. Robert lost that fight and his title as he was knocked out by Israel Adesanya in the second round of the fight. Since that loss, Whittaker has fought his way up to the top by defeating three top contenders.
Now the duo is schdueeld to fight at UFC 271. It will take place on February 12, 2022, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, United States.
Robert Whittaker opened up on his loss at UFC 243
The last time Robert Whittaker faced Israel Adesanya he was dropped twice in the fight and was finished by Israel in a very convincing fashion. Now ahead of his rematch with Adesanya, Robert has talked about their first fight and what went wrong according to him.
“Other opponents have tried (to get in my head as Adesanya did),” Whittaker told MMA Junkie. “I think it was a whole host of different things that got into my head, and there was a lot of things on my end – it’s the way I handled them and the way I took them that made it worse.”
Accoridng to Whittaker he felt his Ego made him lose that fight as he let the things aid by Israel affect him before the fight.
“I think (Adesanya) even mentioned it – that my ego was something that affected me. As much as I don’t want to acknowledge my opponent for insight, my ego probably was a big thing, was a big part of why my headspace wasn’t where it should’ve been for that fight – why I was letting the debate between Australia and New Zealand get to me, why I was letting all these little things get to me. It showed. The results of that showed in the way I was behaving, in the way, I put the fight together, and the way I was fighting at the moment. I’ve acknowledged all of that and you can see obviously I’ve come to terms with all of that and I’m a different fighter now than I was then.”
Robert Whittaker feels accepting his own mistake is an important thing leading up to this rematch.
“The only time I feel like an athlete you can correct yourself, you can do better, you can get better, is when you acknowledge your mistakes,” Whittaker said. “That’s what I’ve been doing since that first loss (to Adesanya). And every fight since that loss, I’ve been putting things together, acknowledging what I could do better, what I did wrong, what I could change, and it’s all led me to here. I’m very excited to get in there and put my skills to the test again.”
Robert Whittaker is also confident that the rematch will be different than their first fight and he feels he is ready for the challenge that Israel Adesanya will be presenting him at UFC 271.
“Getting hit in the face – definitely that one (was my biggest mistake),” Robert Whittaker said. “(But) probably my recklessness – I was recklessly charging in. I was falling into every one of his baits, every one of his traps, and just stubbornly trying to press forward, trying to press the attack, (and) rip his head off. That’s what was going through my head, and it didn’t work. It didn’t work. That’s not how I usually fight. You don’t see me fight like that in a lot of my other fights, forever.”
“I have addressed it. I’ve reflected on it, and we’re going to try to get in there and do something different this next time.”
- Robert Whittaker says he lost champ Israel Adesanya because of his Ego
- Robert Whittaker says the rematch at UFC 271 will be different
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