Robert Whittaker recently secured a convincing victory over Jared Cannonier at UFC 254. The win put him straight on a collision course against reigning midleweight champ Israel Adesanya. Adesanya and Whittaker faced off earlier at UFC 243, with the “Last Stylebender” emerging victorious. Adesanya won the fight via a second-round knockout.
The buildup to the fight was no doubt filled with trash talk, but only from one side. “The Reaper” reveals the effect Adesanya’s trash talk had on him, considering he isn’t that big of a trash talker himself.
“I am certain it did play a factor. I’ll be lying if I say it wasn’t” ; Whittaker on how Adesanya’s trash talk affected his fight
It’s clear that Whittaker does not have a reputation as a trash talker. In a recent interview with MMA on Sirius XM, when Whittaker was asked about the impact Adesanya’s trash talk had on him ahead of their fight at UFC 243 in October last year; he replied:“I think it was just one more thing that piled on top. One more thing we threw over the pile of what already was a cluttered mess….
I can’t discount the hype and the build-up and the attention me and him were receiving… I am certain it did play a factor. I’ll be lying if I say it wasn’t but I think it was just a cherry on top, not so much the driving factor.”
He also stated that he ‘hated’ the trash talk, when asked about how he dealt with it. “There was a time before our fight that we were going from one press conference to the other, one after the other, it was like a political battle. It didn’t make any sense. I hated that. It wasn’t our sport, it wasn’t what we were doing. It was just silly,” Whittaker said.
Whittaker has went on to defeat Darren Till and Cannonier in his subsequent fights. It will be interesting to see what the outcome of his match with Adesanya would be, considering the history involved.