Robert Whittaker Calls Israel Adesanya the ‘Best Counter Striker’ in the MMA World

Published 10/03/2020, 9:53 PM EDT


Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker sat down with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto and did a deep dive into the current champion. ‘The Reaper’ had plenty of complimentary things to say about ‘The Last Stylebender’ especially after his statement win at UFC 253. ‘Izzy’ Adesanya ran right through Paulo Costa, who was tasked to be his second title challenger.

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Robert Whittaker lost his coveted gold strap to the City-Kickboxing stand-out back at UFC 243 in Australia. The fight was not even close as Whittaker was dropped twice with the second blow being critical. ‘The Reaper’ recognized Adesanya’s skill set and will be hoping to run back the rematch.

Robert Whittaker praises Israel Adesanya

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Whittaker was complimentary of ‘The Last Stylebender’ although he had no love lost for him. Adesanya went after the former champion heading into the fight and raised the tension in the air. However, ‘The Reaper’ was quick to give him his due.

“Did I expect Izzy to finish him in that fashion? No, I did not. But everything leading up to the finish I saw as a possibility. He looked good, that fight man, gotta give it to him. I don’t like the guy, but he’s bloody good.”

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He broke down the aforementioned title fight that went down at UFC 253. Chiefly, fight fans were critical of Paulo’s performance. However, Whittaker gave some interesting insight on the matter.

“A lotta people are gonna say Paulo Costa didn’t do much, and maybe he didn’t but Izzy controlled that fight very, very well. It’s very hard for people to speak on Costa, why he didn’t do what he did cause he was in there. It’s hard to move forward on a counter striker like that, especially when he’s making you pay every time you go in. Izzy just controlled that fight. Hats off to Izzy, good fight.”

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“You gotta wait for him to come forward. You can’t move in on him. His counter striking is honestly it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. You have to take that into consideration when preparing for him.”

There’s no doubt that Israel Adesanya’s counter-punching ability is second to none in the middleweight division. The former champion certainly recognizes that and will look to amend his mistakes. What’s more, Whittaker is set to face fellow top contender Jared Cannonier at UFC 254. A win over ‘The Killa Gorilla’ will carve Robert a chance to contest for gold once again.

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Darryl Pinto

2020 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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