‘Why Is Everyone Giving This Guy So Much Attention’- Robert Whittaker Makes a Brutally Honest Assessment of His Ego Costing Him Against Israel Adesanya

Published 01/13/2022, 10:20 AM EST
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 09: Robert Whittaker of Australia weighs in during the UFC 234 weigh-in at Rod Laver Arena on February 09, 2019 in the Melbourne Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker appeared on the latest iteration of ‘The MMA Hour’ and spoke to Ariel Helwani. ‘The Reaper’ is primed to face Israel Adesanya in his next contest with the aim of reclaiming his undisputed title. Adesanya got the better of Whittaker when both men first met at UFC 243 in a sell-out event at the Docklands Stadium.

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‘The Last Stylebender’ managed to drop Whittaker at the end of the first round and nearly secured a stoppage. Robert Whittaker wasn’t able to recover sufficiently before the second round kicked off and he was finished via strikes at 3:33 of round 2. The defeat to Adesanya stands as Whittaker’s first loss since losing to Stephen Thompson back in 2014 at UFC 270.

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Robert Whittaker provides some insight into his loss against Israel Adesanya

In a recent interview, Robert Whittaker made headlines when he spoke about how his ego got in the way during his scrap at UFC 243. This statement puzzled some fight fans, as ‘Bobby Knuckles’ is known as one of the most mild-mannered fighters on the roster. However, Whittaker clarified his statements and explained what he meant by the term ‘ego’.

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)

 

“Everybody has an ego. Everybody in some aspect, at some angle in his life has an ego…. It’s not bad. Especially for fighters, I think fighters need a little bit of ego to do what they need to do, to believe themselves, to back themselves.”

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“I don’t mean ego in a way like I thought I was the best and I was untouchable. It was more that I was letting everything get to me… I was like ‘Why is everyone giving this guy so much attention. Why is everyone creating this much rivalry between us.”

“Why is New Zealand and Australia clashing so hard when I’ve done nothing but represent them both. I thought I understood where I was, who I was.”

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It’s clear that Robert Whittaker wasn’t on board with certain storylines heading into his first fight with ‘The Last Stylebender’. Given the time that has elapsed since they fought last, Whittaker has surely grown as a fighter. It remains to be seen how he can transfer his learnings walking into his rematch with the undisputed champion.

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Darryl Pinto

2131 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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