Robert Whittaker has explained what went wrong in his first fight with reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
Whittaker (23-5 MMA) and Adesanya (21-1 MMA) initially collided for the promotions undisputed middleweight title in October of 2019, with ‘Stylebender’ emerging victorious by way of a second round knockout.
Since that time, Robert Whittaker has gone a perfect 3-0, scoring victories over perennial contenders Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Kevin Gastelum.
After Israel Adesanya successfully defended his title against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263, Dana White announced that a rematch between ‘Stylebender‘ and ‘The Reaper’ would be next up.
That fight is now official for next month’s UFC 271 event in Houston. Ahead of his highly anticipated rematch with Izzy, Robert Whittaker recently sat down with MMAJunkie where he shared what went wrong in their first 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 head space 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 in 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.”
While Robert Whittaker is clearly confident that he can make the right adjustments to hand Israel Adesanya is second career defeat, ‘Stylebender’ obviously has other plans.
“Look in my eyes 🍯. Eat, sleep, train, repeat… It’s a plan that can’t be beat! This will be worse than the first time.” – Adesanya recently warned Whittaker on Twitter.