Israel Adesanya believes that a third fight with Robert Whittaker is not necessary.
In February, Adensanya rematched Whittaker at UFC 271, winning a 2-0 unanimous decision over the former middleweight champion. For “The Last Stylebender” this solved the problem.
“He’s a great fighter,” Adesanya said on press conference for 276 and 277. “I’ll give it to him, he’s a great fighter, but I know how this book ends. I have read this book twice already. The first time I read quickly, the second a little longer. He’ll probably be at the top for a while longer, but if we fight again, I know how this book will end. That’s why I’m so excited about this next fight, new blood, someone I’ve never fought before.
“If he wants to, he has to go up to 205 pounds, see what it is. Maybe try it out for a bit. But yes, I have already read this book and I don’t like to read the same book over and over.”
Adesanya destroyed Whittaker in their first fight, dropping “Bobby Knuckles” several times before ending the fight in the second round to claim the UFC middleweight title. The rematch was much more competitive, and Whittaker felt he had done enough to justify the decision. The judges disagreed and unanimously voted the fight in favor of Adesanya.
Now Whittaker is looking to climb the ladder to a title fight again, starting with a fight against Marvin Vettori at UFC Paris. Meanwhile, Adesanya returns to defend his middleweight title against Jared Cannonier in the main event at UFC 276 next month. Adesanya is excited about this fight and he thinks it will be one of his best cage performances.
“I don’t believe [Cannonier is my toughest opponent]”Adesanya said. This is my first suspicion, but that doesn’t mean I underestimate him. Everyone is a tough contender. He’s a guy who packs a lot. … He still carries that power, so I can’t not notice it, but I don’t think it will be the most difficult challenge. I sincerely think I will make it easy. I really believe I will make it easy.”
UFC 276 will take place July 3 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.