Israel Adesanya’s Coach Trashes Robert Whittaker For Turning Down Title Shot

Published 05/04/2021, 10:28 AM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 04: UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker of New Zealand interacts with media during UFC 243 Ultimate Media Day at Marvel Stadium on October 4, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Robert Whittaker looked almost certain to rematch Israel Adesanya next after his win against Kelvin Gastelum. However, the UFC announced Marvin Vettori would fight for the belt next at UFC 263. Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman took a shot at ‘The Reaper’ for his words.

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There are certain things you don’t turn down. Don’t matter what. Don’t matter how much family you got waiting for you. There are certain things in the sport, you’ve been working, you don’t give them away. He was given the opportunity, as I understand, by the UFC. And yeah, I guess it’s gone to Vettori,” said Bareman.

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When you have an opportunity like that, now you have to sit at the back of the list again. Now you are back on the pool again. Which is unfortunate for him.

Now there’s Vettori. Now there’s all these guys coming up. There’s Holland, There’s Till. He was able to separate himself from them. Unfortunately for whatever personal reason he hasn’t taken that fight. Now he goes back into that pool,” he concluded.

Robert Whittaker explains the reason behind not fighting Israel Adesanya

Whittaker believes this was a ploy on Adesanya’s camp to ask him for a quick turnaround after his win over Gastelum. ‘The Reaper’ thinks his opposition camp knew he would likely turn down the fight.

I found out about the title shot directly after my fight. They said fight in June, Adesanya, blah blah blah blah. I had just come off a hard 5-round fight. I had some injuries I had to deal with some injuries. My hands were busted, my shin was busted. I had to go home, 2 weeks of quarantine,” said Whittaker.

It just wasn’t possible. They probably had a feeling that was the decision I would come to. I can’t help but feel this was a little ploy on behalf of Adesanya’s camp,” ‘Bobby Knuckles added.

I am more than happy to chill out and wait for the winner of that fight. I fight the winner. The title fight is my next fight.

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Whittaker and Adesanya have obviously fought before at UFC 243. ‘The Last Stylebender‘ finished the former champion with a signature knockout to claim the undisputed middleweight gold, They have been expected to rematch at some point since. And Whittaker’s recent win streak against world-class opponents meant he was back in the front of the queue for the chance to regain his belt.

But it seems like we might have to wait for the fight to happen anytime soon. But Whittaker most definitely should fight the winner of Adesanya vs Vettori.

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Apratim Banerjee

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Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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