Israel Adesanya had an almost flawless performance when he dethroned then-champion Robert Whittaker and he aims to overtake him at UFC 271.
Adesanya (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) knocked out Whittaker (23-5 MMA, 14-3 UFC) in 2019 at UFC 243 to win the middleweight title, and the pair are expected to return on February 12 to Toyota Center in Houston.
Whittaker has admitted that he has grown too emotional as their first fight approaches and while Adesanya appreciates him acknowledging this, he understands that having a self-awareness can make Whittaker more dangerous than his previous opponents.
“This is the best form I’ve seen in a camp, and I’m not going to strain myself, I promise you,” Adesanya said on her YouTube channel. “I have a point to prove to myself, but just also to love, you know, these people, I just want to shut them up. I mean the motivation for me is just that he doesn’t make excuses like ( Marvin) Vettori or (Paulo) Costa.
“He accepted his loss. He finally admitted that I was in his head, and he was emotional, and I was like, “Yeah, you finally admitted what I was saying all this fucking time”, so that makes me take it seriously. . He accepted it, so I take it seriously. OK, he has a point to prove too, and he’s practiced. He is motivated. It makes me wake up in the morning to silence him even worse than the first time. This is what motivates me. “
Adesanya gave Whittaker a striking masterclass to win the title, knocking him down at the end of the first round before pushing him back in the second. But since then, Whittaker has bounced back with insistence with three big wins over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum as he seeks to reclaim his title.
Israel Adesanya def. Robert Whittaker at UFC 243: the best pics
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