Israel Adesanya Explains Why Robert Whittaker is Not Willing to Fight Him

Published 11/02/2020, 9:34 AM EST


UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya exclusively spoke to Submission Radio and offered some insight into his future in the company.

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Chiefly, ‘The Last Stylebender’ opened up about his plans to move up to the light heavyweight division and challenge the champion Jan Blachowicz. UFC President Dana White recently announced the same to the media, and now Izzy will be on the hunt for his second belt.

What’s more, this is expected to leave the middleweight contenders on the shelf for the foreseeable future. Former champion Robert Whittaker had more or less earned his rematch opportunity against Israel, but he may not get it until 2022.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: (L-R) Robert Whittaker of Australia punches Jared Cannonier in their middleweight bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

‘The Reaper’, who bounced back with two huge wins after losing to Adesanya, wanted to take the remainder of the year off. He recently fought against Jared Cannonier at UFC 254 in a hard-fought 3-round battle.

Robert understandably wants to spend Christmas with his family and welcome his soon-to-be-born child in January.

Israel Adesanya: “I know what he means”

The Nigerian born and New Zealand made champion was empathetic towards Whittaker’s desire to spend time with his family. Izzy himself explained that he had every intention of spending the holidays with his family.

“I too wanna spend Christmas with my family, and I will. I mean, behind the scenes I’m doing a lot to ensure my family makes it home for Christmas and we all spend Christmas together as a family. It’s important to me.”

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Additionally, Israel Adesanya also acknowledged the fact that he would see ‘The Reaper’ once more down the road. “But I think his perspective is…I know what he means. You don’t have to force it if you know, you know and he knows.

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“I’ll probably see him again in New Zealand again down the line and it’s one of those things, you don’t push or force…I get it, I get it.”

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It is becoming increasingly difficult to deny the former champion from Australia a title rematch against Israel Adesanya. He has looked uber impressive in his comeback wins over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier.

The impact of Israel Adesanya’s move to light heavyweight, however, has certainly led to some uncertainty in the division.

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Darryl Pinto

1930 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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