After defeating MMA legend Anderson Silva and being a five-fight wonder in the UFC, Israel Adesanya became one of the esteemed promotion’s greatest middleweight prospect. However, division titlist Robert Whittaker played unimpressed; saying the ‘Last Stylebender’ isn’t as good as he thinks he is.
Adesanya is set to lock horns against Kelvin Gastelum for the interim middleweight belt at the co-main event of UFC 236 in Atlanta, Georgia on April 13.
The Nigerian stunner is coming off a historic unanimous decision win over ‘Spider’ Silva, the man he called his ‘clone’ for decorating his moves after the Brazilian middleweight star.
As he recovers from his health issues, Whittaker, on the other hand, said the next challenger he wants to take on would be the eventual winner of the Gastelum-Adesanya match.
Aside from airing this desire, ‘The Reaper’ gave an honest opinion on the Kiwi fighter’s game and the hype that’s currently surrounding his name.
— EJ (@rapoyhaha) February 10, 2019
Is Not As Good
Commenting on the unefeated Adesanya’s play, Whittaker said:
“I think Adesanya isn’t as good as he thinks he is.”
“I think he’s very good – very, very good – and I have a lot of respect for his skillset, 100 per cent. He’s a dangerous guy. But I don’t think the pedestal that he’s on is as high as everyone else thinks it is, and he thinks it is,” the Australian titlist stated.
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Hey guys ! Still kicking. I'm sorry to all my friends, fans and family for not being able to get in there Sunday. Apparently if you get emergency surgeries you can't be cleared to fight. Thanks for the overwhelming support from all my fans I am so blessed to know you guys have my back. A big thanks to my team mates @fabricioitte @alexprates07 @standstrongboxingcoachjustin @justinlang_ep @titusday77 and all the others from behind the scenes you guys were there from start to finish worrying and prioritizing my health above all. Lastly to @danawhite and @ufc for the immediate help and support throughout the process of testing and the emergency surgeries. I am blessed I found out when I did and avoided life long consequences. I'll be back better than ever.
In reply to these remarks, Adesanya now speaks out in an interview with Submission Radio; saying that he is actually ‘greater than he thinks he is.’
“I don’t think of those comments and it doesn’t affect me in any way,” the 29-year-old said.
“I mean, when the time comes, when I have the mic in my hand, I’m saying my thing. I’ll say, he thinks I’m not as good as I think I am, I’ll show him I’m greater than I think I am.”
“So, they all can talk, they all have something to say until they’re in front of me, and they get chin checked,” Adesanya continued.
“I’m not like [Stephen] ‘Wonderboy’ [Thompson]. Even the way I fight, I’m not like Wonderboy, I’m not like anyone he’s ever fought that’s actually given him problems, depending on weight classes.”
“I’m not like Yoel Romero. This is different. I’m still learning. You know, even though I’ve had so many fights in just one year, I’ve learned and I’ve grown with each fight, but it’s only been a year in the UFC.”
“Don’t worry. They’re writing checks with their mouth right now, but their ass will cash it later on,” the Kiwi fighter concluded.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Israel Adesanya and Instagram/Robert Whittaker