Robert Whittaker Not in a Rush to Fight Israel Adesanya, But Has “Need” For Rematch
By FCF Staff
As a result of his win over Jared Cannonier at UFC 254, Robert Whittaker knows that his path to a rematch with Israel Adesanya has become shorter. While the former middleweight champ isn’t insisting that fight happen soon, Whittaker won’t be happy if a rematch never materializes.
Whittaker battled Cannonier in the co-main event of Saturday’s card, and outscored the powerful contender for the decision win. The victory followed Whittaker’s decision win over Darren Till in July, which returned him to the win column, after he was stopped by Adesanya last October.
While talking to the media afterward, UFC President Dana White said that a rematch between Adesanya and Whittaker makes sense. When Whittaker was asked for his thoughts on the situation, the 29-year-old said this (quote via MMA Junkie).
“He’s a tough fight, man,” Whittaker said. “I’m stoked to fight him. He’s a hard fight. He’s so good and he only looked better in his last fight – and the fact he beat me once already. But I feel like I’ve got a couple of tricks I can roll out. I feel like I can play it differently this time. Honestly, I know he’s trying to do everything else, and good on him to do that. I’m not thinking about him. Maybe me and him shouldn’t think about it just for a little bit. He can go up to light heavy(weight) or heavyweight. Whatever he wants to do, it doesn’t bother me. My plans are Christmas, my baby, and then, hopefully, our timelines line up then.”
Although Whittaker isn’t demanding that he face Adesanya again soon, the Australian fighter added he needs to battle the champ again, at some point.
“I do want to fight him one day – one day,” Whittaker said. “Whether it’s in my career or in the parking lot as two old fellas one day. I feel like our paths will cross again. As a warrior, it’s something I need to do. But I’m not worried about who I fight next. My whole mentality with this game is: ‘You line them up. I knock them down.’ I’m pretty good at that.”
With Saturday’s win, Whittaker moved his overall record to 22-5.