Just In Robert Whittaker predicts he’ll finish Israel Adesanya ‘somewhere in the second, third round’ MMA Life
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Speaking to Triple M, champion Whittaker (20-4 MMA, 11-2 UFC) said that after watching Adesanya’s war with Kelvin Gastelum earlier this year at UFC 236, where he captured the interim middleweight title, he is confident he will finish the fight.
“That’s the biggest thing I took away from that fight,” Whittaker said. “If Gastelum can puts hands on him, I can puts hands on him. Honestly, I think I’m going to finish him. I’m definitely going to look for the finish, but I think I’m going to finish him somewhere in the second, third round.”
There’s been a lot of back-and-forth between Adesanya (17-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and Whittaker, mostly coming from Adesanya’s side. A couple of news conferences and faceoffs, but Whittaker isn’t phased by any of it.
“It’s kind of another mentality I’ve always had, is I don’t understand why we’re trash talking each other, because literally we’re going to be punishing each other within X-amount of weeks,” Whittaker said. “It’s like there’s no point. Anything you’ve got to say means nothing.”
Whittaker vs. Adesanya is being dubbed as the biggest fight the Oceanic region’s history. According to UFC president Dana White, Marvel Stadium in Melbourne is on track to sell out for their championship showdown at UFC 243, and Whittaker is expected to have the Australian crowd behind him. Although he is a New Zealand-born Australian taking on a Nigerian-born Kiwi, Whittaker isn’t concerned with who New Zealand will be supporting.
He believes the sport wins in the end.
“Who cares?” Whittaker said. “It doesn’t matter, because it’s only going to boost the combat sports game in New Zealand and Australia. At the end of the day, as much as we love the rivalry, we love each other a lot more than everybody else anyway, so this is going to be the biggest combat sports fight in the history of the game in this part of the world, and I’m pumped to be a part of it.”
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