‘That’s Why He is the Champ’- Robert Whittaker Lauds Jan Blachowicz for Beating Israel Adesanya

Published 04/12/2021, 2:01 PM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 24: Robert Whittaker of New Zealand poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 24, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker sat down with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto ahead of his main event booking. ‘The Reaper’ takes on Kelvin Gastelum, who filled in for Paulo Costa on roughly a months’ notice. Whittaker had plenty of views to share on the landscape of the middleweight division as well as on the current champion.

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Robert Whittaker is intimately familiar with champion Israel Adesanya, who was the man to dethrone him. Adesanya recently fought at UFC 259 against Jan Blachowicz for his light heavyweight title and suffered his first loss in MMA. Following the loss, ‘The Last Stylebender’ moved back down to his weight class and awaits his next challenger.

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Robert Whittaker reviews UFC 259’s main event

‘Bobby Knuckles’ laid out his views on how Adesanya wasn’t able to use his usual striking techniques to outmaneuver Blachowicz. The Polish champion turned out to be crafty with his striking defense and was prepared with his wrestling. What’s more, Whittaker went on to predict that Blachowicz would win once more should they ever rematch.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: Robert Whittaker of New Zealand reacts after the conclusion of his middleweight fight against Darren Till of England during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“I thought Israel would be able to control it more but Jan fought so well. His patient strategy and Polish power was just the real threat and you could see Izzy was having trouble trying to lead to the fight where he wanted it. It was a great fight, very smart fight from Jan you know that’s why he’s the champ.”

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“If you asked me this before they fought, I would say Izzy would win more times than not. But after seeing Jan adjust, also being able to handle that striking, being able to handle the shots, being able to make Izzy cautious of his own. I think Jan would have to be the favorite moving forward.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (R-L) Jan Blachowicz of Poland punches Israel Adesanya of Nigeria in their UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Israel Adesanya has proven himself to be a consummate winner in all facets of the fight game. Despite the loss, he’ll come back to defend his middleweight championship with a renewed focus and determination. Should Whittaker get past Gastelum, there’s a very good chance that  Adesanya will be re-matching the former champion.

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Darryl Pinto

1450 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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