UFC 243, Robert Whittaker, Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya plans to “shut up Robert Whittaker worse” than their first meeting

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has big plans for his rematch against rival Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 in February. The first time the two met was back in 2019 at UFC 243 when Adesanya had an incredible performance through two quick rounds, finishing with a second-round TKO over the former world champion, with the fight unifying the world title.

After reeling off two title defenses of his middleweight title, Israel Adesanya started 2021 by moving up to the light heavyweight division and attempted to become a two-weight division champion, but those plans were derailed when he dropped a unanimous decision to Jan Blachowicz. Adesanya would get back into the win column at UFC 263 with another defense of his middleweight title against Marvin Vettori.

Now that he’s set to run it back against Whittaker, “The Last Stylebender” has plans to make the second meeting between them even more of a standout performance than the first. Speaking on his own YouTube channel this week, Adesanya said he is coming into the fight in better shape than ever, saying he has a point to prove to himself.

“This is the best I’ve ever come into a camp in shape, and I’m not going out of shape I promise you that. I have a point to prove to myself, but just also to like, you know, those people, I just want to shut them the f**k up. I mean the motivation for me is just that he’s not making excuses like [Marvin] Vettori or [Paulo] Costa.” (H/T MMA Junkie)

Acknowledging that Robert Whittaker didn’t make excuses and simply accepted the loss, Adesanya did say his former opponent accepting defeat, has led him to be motivated to shut him up worse than the first time they fought.

“He’s 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 this whole f***ing time.’ So that makes me take him seriously. He’s accepted that, so that makes me take him seriously that OK, he’s got a point to prove, as well, and he’s been training. He’s motivated. That gets me up in the morning to shut him up again worse than the first time. That’s what gets me motivated.”

In their initial meeting, Israel Adesanya did everything to become champion and in doing so, put on one of the greatest title-clinching performances in recent UFC history. Looking for his fourth consecutive middleweight title defense, Adesanya sounds as motivated as ever going into the rematch.

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Mike Pendleton
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his "On The Mic" podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM's Fight Nation. With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike's work across his multiple outlets. Follow me on Twitter: @MP2310