Reigning UFC middleweight kingpin Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker kept his eyes on the instant MMA classic that was UFC 236 co-main event.
Last Saturday, the Australian champion witnessed how the Israel Adesanya vs Kelvin Gastelum bout went down.
Just like every MMA fan, Whittaker was all praises for the epic five-round contest put up by his rivals.
In a recent appearance on ESPN’s Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, ‘The Reaper’ described it as an “amazing fight” and commended Adesanya for making the necessary adjustments to win the chess match.
“I think this fight forced him to draw a little bit more out of the tank, a little bit more will power, a little bit more heart.”
“You can see in the fight his ups and downs. A little bit more trials, a little bit more obstacles he had to get over.”
“The adversity he had to get through to make sure he lasted to the end of the fight. I thought it was an amazing fight from both guys.” – (Transcript from MMA Junkie)
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) April 14, 2019
Whittaker also broke down significant takeaways from the fight as he took the opportunity to study his future opponent, Izzy Adesanya.
He pointed out that the five-round war has exposed some of Izzy’s weakness.
To this, he warned the “Last Stylebender” to be careful of his striking skills when they meet in the cage for the unification bout.
“If you watch the fight you can see the holes that were there from every fight before, they just got exposed bigger.”
“There were holes and there were a lot of things Gastelum exploited, and there were a lot of things Gastelum could’ve exploited but couldn’t because of his makeup, because of his striking style, because of his height, his reach.”
“Gastelum was getting in. Gastelum was landing his left. I’ll get in, I’ll land my right.”
“I’m much faster than Gastelum, I’m a better striker. Israel should be very worried. I’m a very hard fight.” – (Transcript from MMA Junkie)
Izzy To Hit
Whittaker and Adesanya will unify the belts this September, with the former’s home soil being targeted as the potential venue.
The Australian champ is confident that this clash, unlike the Gastelum fight, will not go the distance.
Whittaker predicted that Adesanya would not last five rounds and won’t survive his shots.
“He doesn’t like getting hit, and he’s very, very hittable.”
“I hit hard. If he can weather the storm and take my shots and survive five rounds like he did with Gastelum, then congratulations to him, he’ll get the win.”
“But I don’t think he’s going to. I’m a better fighter than Gastelum. I hit harder, I’m faster and I come with a new level of intensity he’s not used to.”
“If he beats me, he beats me. Good on him.”
“He would’ve earned his place, but I’m going to do everything in my power to make it not happen.” – (Transcript from MMA Junkie)
— Asian Persuasion MMA (@APMMA_Net) April 16, 2019
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya)