Whittaker On A “Hittable” and “Exposed” Adesanya
UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker feels Israel Adesanya exposed himself on Saturday night against Kelvin Gastelum.
The two squared off in the co-main event of UFC 236 with the interim 185 pound title up for grabs, as Whittaker watched from home, recovering from a debilitating hernia.
“If you watch the fight you can see the holes that were there from every fight before, they just got exposed bigger,” Whittaker said to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.” There were a lot holes and there were a lot of things Gastelum exploited, and there were a lot of things Gastelum could’ve exploited but couldn’t because of his makeup, because of his striking style, because of his height, his reach. Gastelum was getting in. Gastelum was landing that left. I’ll get in, I’ll land my right. I’m much faster than Gastelum. I’m a better striker, I’m more comfortable there. I stay on the outside, I don’t stay in that mid-ground. Israel should be very worried. I’m a very hard fight.”
“Israel doesn’t like getting hit and he’s very, very hittable,” Whittaker said of Gastelum’s striking against Adesanya. “That’s it. I hit hard. I like hitting people. I can get in and I can do the damage. I can do the work. If he can weather the storm and take my shots and survive five rounds and counter and do everything he did with Gastelum, then congratulations to him, he’ll get the win, X,Y, Z. But I don’t think he’s going to. I’m a different fighter than Gastelum. I bring much more heat. I hit harder, I hit faster, I gonna come with a new level of intensity he’s not used to.”
With both fighters from Oceania, the UFC has hopes to schedule a unification fight between Adesanya and Whittaker in an outdoor stadium in Australia, with Whittaker hoping this time he’ll be able to fight in his adopted home.
“I haven’t heard too much just yet but third times the charm,” Whittaker said of his first two chances to fight in Australia hampered by injuries.
“If I can get it in Australia, surely this time. . . Definitely Sydney. I want it in Sydney. I want it in my backyard. I haven’t fought here since my middleweight debut and I really want to do that. It’s one of the things I want to do, defend my belt in Sydney, home ground, backyard. Third times the charm.”
Initial Report: MMA Fighting