Robert Whittaker shares his thoughts on Israel Adesanya’s “petty” decision to taunt Alex Pereira’s son at UFC 287: “Dude, you can’t hold a grudge on 5-year-olds”

By Susan Cox - April 24, 2023

Robert Whittaker is sharing his thoughts on Israel Adesanya’s ‘petty’ decision to taunt Alex Pereira’s son at UFC 287.

Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker, UFC 271

UFC 287 took place on Saturday, April 8th and saw Adesanya (24-2 MMA) defeat Pereira  (7-2 MMA) via a brutal KO/TKO at 4:21 of round 2 to claim the middleweight title.

Following the victory, Adesanya taunted Alex Pereira’s son, who five years ago imitated Adesanya’s knockout loss to Pereira in the kickboxing ring.

Speaking on ‘The MMA Hour’, Whittaker shared his thoughts on Adesanya’s actions:

“I thought the bow and arrow bit was really, really cool. You’ve got to give it to him. But I thought that other bit with Pereira’s son was a bit petty. And he admits that he’s a petty dude. He’s a petty dude.”

Continuing, Robert Whittaker said (h/t MMAFighting):

“But dude, you can’t hold a grudge on 5-year-olds. If I held a grudge with every 5-year-old that pissed me off, I’d be fighting for the next 40 years of my life.”

Concluding, the 32 year old said:

“He said he’s petty, so he admitted it with such energy, right? To everybody listening and watching, that doesn’t make it a good thing, OK?” Whittaker said. “Don’t get confused, just because he does it and admits it like a champ, that it’s a good thing. Don’t be petty. It’s not good.”

Whittaker, himself a father a four, obviously feels Adesanya was not setting a good role model by the stunt he pulled after winning at UFC 287.

There is a history between Whittaker and Adesanya as they met at UFC 243 in October of 2019 and again at UFC 271 in February of 2022. Both battles ended in victories for Adesanya.

‘The Reaper/Bobby Knuckles’ (24-6 MMA) is preparing for his upcoming bout with Dricus Du Plessis (19-2 MMA) at UFC 290 which takes place on Saturday, July 8th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Do you agree with Whittaker that Adesanya’s taunting of Pereira’s son was ‘petty’?

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Israel Adesanya Robert Whittaker