UFC 271 features a middleweight title fight rematch between Robert Whittaker (23-5 MMA) and Israel Adesanya (21-1 MMA) and goes down February 12th at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Losing his title to Adesanya back in October 2019 at UFC 243 in Melbourne, Australia, Whittaker is aiming to reclaim his belt and recently spoke to ‘MMA Junkie‘ about what went wrong with his first fight:
“I would love to be able to get him on his back and to work on the ground”, Whittaker told MMA Junkie. “It’s no secret that the greatest advantage anyone would have with ‘Izzy’ is on his back where he can’t use his long arms and long legs to hit you. It’s no secret.”
“Am I going to focus on just that? That’s anybody’s guess because no, I can strike with the best of them, as well, so if an opportunity presents itself – I guess my whole headspace is just utilize the tools and the opportunities that I’m given in this fight, and I think that sums it up pretty well. If I see takedowns, I’ll take them. If I see openings to strike, I’ll take them. Keeping that defense nice and tight. More or less just a little less of what happened in the first fight.”
Robert Whittaker continued:
“I think Jan set a blueprint on how to beat him. But again, I don’t have the same skillsets and tools Jan does. I don’t have that Polish power, nor that Polish head. You know, like he’s a tough guy, so got to utilize what I have. Definitely we saw that ‘Izzy’ is much less dangerous off his back. Still dangerous, but less dangerous. If I was a strategist, I would be writing down all the points of which Jan utilized to take that win and then putting it in my own.”
Since that second round knockout at the hands of Adesanya at UFC 243, Whittaker has gone a perfect 3-0, with victories over contenders Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Kevin Gastelum.
Israel Adesanya successfully defended his title at UFC 263 back in June of last year against Marvin Vettori.
The stage is set for the much anticipated rematch between ‘The Reaper’ and ‘Stylebender’.
Who will be your pick to emerge victorious when Whittaker and Adesanya clash for a second time next month in Houston? Share your predictions in the comment section PENN Nation!This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM