Robert Whittaker wasn’t impressed with Israel Adesanya’s win over Marvin Vettori at UFC 263.
Adesanya returned to the Octagon after his first career loss as he lost a decision to Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title at UFC 259. Entering the fight against Vettori at UFC 263, many were curious to see how the middleweight champ would respond to his first career loss. He ended up dominating the fight as he won the fight 50-45 on all three judge’s scorecards.
Although Adesanya clearly won the scrap, Whittaker, who is next in line for the title, wasn’t impressed. Instead, he thought “The Last Stylebender” just had an average performance.
The rivalry between Adesanya and Whittaker appears to be heating back up 🔥 pic.twitter.com/eQCLE1Lfph
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 21, 2021
“Watching the fight against Vettori, you can see Adesanya (is) not untouchable. It reinforced the fact that he’s very human. Very touchable. I actually thought his performance was average,” Whittaker said to the Daily Telegraph. “Not average in the context of being bad. But he never did anything more than what he had to do. He didn’t do anything flashy. He didn’t do anything more than necessary. Which is a good approach. But, it certainly doesn’t put you in the realm of the Gods… He’s definitely not a God. He’s a very good fighter, sure. But, he’s not as good as he thinks he is.”
After the comments went viral, Adesanya, to no surprise, issued a fiery response to the former middleweight champ.
“If I’m not as good as I think I am, then what does that make you,?” Adesanya wrote in an Instagram story.
Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker fought back at UFC 243 in Melbourne with Adesanya winning by second-round TKO to become the new middleweight champ. It’s expected the two will rematch later this year which will be a highly-anticipated bout as Whittaker has looked better than ever since he lost his belt back in 2019.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime