Robert Whittaker says third Israel Adesanya fight will ‘definitely’ happen, clarifies ‘most dangerous man’ comment


Robert Whittaker is not done chasing Israel Adesanya.

The Reaper lost in a rematch for the Middleweight Championship to Adesanya at UFC 271 in February this year, but will play a major role at UFC Paris by defeating top contender Marvin Vettori via unanimous decision. It was Whittaker’s 13th win in his last 15 fights – currently No. 2 at 185 pounds in the global MMA Fighting rankings – whose only losses in that stretch came to The Last Style Bender.

By convincingly holding onto his spot as the #1 contender, Whittaker made it clear that his goal is still to become UFC champion again.

“I’m looking for that title shot,” Whittaker said on a recent episode. Hour of MMA. “This is what I do and this is what I will always do, because this is the only way up. I am a supporter of progress, I just want to move forward.

“I want to move up. And whoever gets that three above me, whoever is above me in the rankings, is obviously my next target.”

Whittaker raised his eyebrows in his post-fight speech at UFC Paris when he declared himself the “most dangerous man” in the middleweight division, a statement that needed some clarification given his two losses to Adesanya. He explained on Hour of MMA that he usually does more damage to his opponents than Adesanya, a comment that is particularly significant given the criticism Adesanya has received in recent months for a championship defense that has been relatively without drama.

“I’m the most dangerous man in the division,” Whittaker said. “Izzy, he is the division champion, he beat me in the last fight. He is an excellent fighter. But I am the most dangerous person. I can beat anyone in the division. In that last fight with Israel, I was within a hair’s breadth of taking everything from them. Just the fights I’ve been in and the opponents I’ve had, I don’t just beat them. I will smack them. There is a difference in this.

“I hurt these guys and that makes me so dangerous. It’s because I don’t just come into battle to win, I come to break my opponents. And I’m not a big talker or anything, but in terms of mentality, that’s what I do when I go there. I don’t go there expecting to leave. … That’s why a lot of the injuries I get when I leave the octagon are because I inflicted them on myself. Throwing too many kicks or throwing too many kicks with reckless dedication, that’s the way it is.”

As for the change in perception of Adesanya, Whittaker attributes it more to the opponents Adesanya has fought rather than any change in the champion’s strategy.

“Israel is fighting the same way it has always fought,” Whittaker said. “He is the perfect defensive striker who makes great use of his physicality in the way he fights. The only difference now is that he fights much higher level guys and they are harder to stop, harder to get away, they are a bit tougher. He always fought like that. He always fought on the defensive, safely. And he gets the W. I think that’s what you want.

Whittaker has teased that he will move up in weight after starting his UFC career at 170 pounds, and he believes that if he ever moves up to compete at 205 pounds, that’s the division he’ll ever be in. will retire. title defense against Alex Pereira at UFC 281 on November 12.

Whoever wins, Whittaker is confident that he will remain at the center of any discussion about contenders for the championship.

“I know I have another chance against Izzy, if that’s the case, or if he gets ousted, I definitely have another chance for gold,” Whittaker said. “I think that the third fight with Israel will be a defining moment for this or anyone else.”

“Definitely [there will be a third fight with Adesanya,]he added. “It would be stupid not to because I’m just sorting through everyone else. Especially the way the second fight ended, I had to get the closest since he got the title to take it from him.”