Former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker is going to claim back what was once his against his nemesis, current UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya in a rematch at UFC 272. The first fight happened back in 2019 when Adesanya knocked Whittaker out cold in the second round at UFC 243, which happened to be the highest attended event in UFC History.
Whittaker, since that loss, bounced back from it stronger than ever only to run on an amazing 3-fight winning streak. On that road, Whittaker took unanimous decision wins over the likes of Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum. Meanwhile, Adesanya made 3 title defences, the second-most amongst the current roster of UFC champions. Adesanya’s win column, after the first Whittaker fight, included Marvin Vettori, Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero.
Robert Whittaker accepts hating Israel Adesanya “for the longest time”
Whittaker talked about his return to fighting Adesanya in a rematch against him to Fox Sports Australia and talks a lot about his mentality going into the fight this time which seems to be way better than the first time they fought each other.
“I think you know, some of that stuff (Adesanya’s trash-talking) got me the first time,” says Whittaker. “I let them get to me… they got under my skin, you know just magnified everything and to the point that Izzy [Adesanya] was just an easy avenue for me to direct that anger which clouded my vision, clouded my brain.
I don’t hate him, hate is too tiring. I did hate him for the longest time and it was exhausting,” continued Whittaker “And then I realized like, why! There are worse people than him,” Whittaker concluded.
What do you make of Whittaker achieving the mental peace he was repelling from in the first fight against Adesanya? Does that increase Whittaker’s chances against Adesanya now? Who do you think will win between Adesanya and Whittaker at UFC 272, are we going to see a different fight or is it as same as the first one?