Robert Whittaker says the pressure is off him for his UFC 271 main event title rematch against Israel Adesanya.
Whittaker and Adesanya are set to run it back after “The Last Stylebender” scored a second-round TKO win back in 2019 to become the new champ. Since then, Whittaker has won three fights to earn the rematch and for him, he’s glad he had the chance to fight multiple times before running it back with Adesanya.
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“Yeah, I’m not too worried about it, I didn’t think about it too much because I was enjoying the process, I was enjoying the fights,” Whittaker said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “Coming back off the loss and coming back after I took some time to put some things together, it was fun, it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the ride. I knew all roads led to here anyway so here we are.”
In the lead-up to the first fight, the fight was billed as the biggest scrap in the Oceanic region and Whittaker admits he felt the pressure. He also says he let Adesanya get his head which he won’t allow happen this time around.
Whittaker says he’s a different fighter and says there’s no pressure on him as everyone expects him to lose at UFC 271.
“First and foremost, I’m a completely different man than I was then, I have come a long way since then,” Whittaker said. “I’m very self-confident in who I am and why I do things, and as well as I’m aware. Having those things hand-in-hand I think I’m going to be quite immune to his tricks… There was a lot of pressure as well but that is the beauty of this fight, no one expects me to win. He’s the champ, he’s been doing so well, so I’m going to go out there and look to execute on what I want to do and put all the hard work to good use.”
With Robert Whittaker saying there’s no pressure on him, he’s confident he will fight to the best of his abilities. Along with that, he believes Israel Adesanya has looked beatable and he plans on exploiting that to get the win and reclaim the middleweight title.
“He’s looked phenomenal but he looks beatable, he has had some good fights and good performances but I think I can beat him and I have the skillset to beat him,” Whittaker said. “We’ll wait and see… He’s a tough fighter, how I see the fight going is too hard to say. With high-skilled opponents like us, going back-and-forth and counter him and executing our own gameplan you don’t know how it will go out but I’m just going to play it by ear.”
Should Whittaker get his hand raised, he doesn’t care who’s next for him. He knows a trilogy with Adesanya will likely happen but he’s just focused on February 12 and nothing after.
“Honestly, I haven’t thought about it, my calendar only goes up to the start of the fight. Whatever happens after, happens after,” Whittaker concluded.
Do you think Robert Whittaker will beat Israel Adesanya at UFC 271?This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM