Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya says Robert Whittaker ‘didn’t want to fight me’

All signs point to Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker’s title unification bout headlining UFC 243 in Australia. The fight will be one of the biggest in the Oceanic region and one of the bigger fights of the year.

Although the fight is pretty much a done deal, Adesanya knows Whittaker didn’t want to fight him, and at UFC 236, he would have preferred that Kelvin Gastelum won.

“Come on, let’s keep it real,” Adesanya said to Submission Radio. “Kelvin, what he did, we’ve already figured it out. Two days after [the fight] me and Eugene [Bareman] were like – cause Eugene hit me up, he was like, f*ck, and he told me what it was. And I was like, ah, that’s right. . . Hindsight is a powerful weapon, and yeah, I’m really good at rematches, let’s put it that way. But Robert, Robert said a lot of things. Come on, everyone’s said a lot of things since my debut. Blah blah blah, I overcome that. Blah blah blah, I overcome that.

“I know for a fact he didn’t want to fight me. I know for a fact he’d rather have fought Kelvin. And he can say, oh, I can hit him too, I’m quicker, I’m faster. This is all what people say. Eventually we’re going to fight. And when we’re gonna fight and you’re across the cage from me, it’s a different story. Kelvin was the one saying I don’t have no pop in my punches. He found that out in round two. Like, I was popping off. And then round five, f*cking popcorn everywhere.”

Add in the fact that Whittaker hasn’t defended his title once yet, Adesanya believes he is the real champion. And, he has the new belt, which “Bobby Knuckles” doesn’t.

“Also, one thing I realize, how the f*ck is he champion when he’s the interim champion?,” Adesanya said. “How did he win the interim belt off Romero and he got the unified belt? Who did he beat? Has he defended his belt? How? He was the interim champ. He is the interim champ. He never actually won the real belt. He never actually won the real belt. He was the interim champ and still is the interim champ. And he hasn’t really done much work. I’ve has six fights in one year, what has he done the last three years? So, if they want to keep throwing that interim sh*t around – cause I checked my belt, it don’t say no interim. And my belt’s on that new flex.”