Robert Whittaker Admits Trash Talk Got To Him In Israel Adesanya Fight
Robert Whittaker was a bit bothered by the trash talk from Israel Adesanya.
Back in October 2019, Whittaker collided with Adesanya in an undisputed UFC Middleweight Title fight. Going into the fight, Adesanya was the interim titleholder while Whittaker was the main champion. Whittaker was stopped in the second round via TKO.
Ahead of the title fight, Adesanya wasn’t afraid to hurl verbal jabs at “The Reaper.”Appearing on SiriusXM’s MMA Tonight, Whittaker admitted that Adesanya’s trash talk got to him (h/t The Body Lock).
🔊 "If the word battle was the game, I'm pretty sure I could be decent at that, but that's not the game." 💪@robwhittakermma tells @RJcliffordMMA & @MieshaTate exactly what role Israel Adesanya's trash-talk played in their fight. pic.twitter.com/1VVMbs0twi
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) October 30, 2020
“I think it was one more thing that piled on top. One more thing we threw on top of a pile of an already huge clutter mess of what was going on in my head. And certainly, I can’t discount the fact that side of it, as well as the hype and the buildup and the attention me and him were receiving in Australia. … The size of the event, the size of the venue — it was a massive thing. It just blew everything up to bigger proportions.
“I’m certain it did play a factor. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. But I think it was the cherry on top, not so much the driving factor.”
Following the loss to Adesanya, Whittaker has gone 2-0. He’s defeated Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. The former 185-pound titleholder was expected to challenge Adesanya for the UFC Middleweight Title in a rematch after his win over Cannonier. UFC President Dana White claimed that Whittaker turned down a rematch with “The Last Stylebender.” Whittaker denies this.