Morning Report: Robert Whittaker hopes Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira ‘never come back the same’ after UFC 281


Robert Whittaker will be watching UFC 281 closer than most.

This weekend’s return to Madison Square Garden showcases the middleweight division as two of MMA’s very best strikers collide with the grandest prize on the line. Israel Adesanya, the UFC champ seeks to defend his title and to redeem himself against Alex Pereira, his former opponent in kickboxing.

Despite Pereira’s participation in the title tilt, Whittaker is still largely considered the second-best 185-pound fighter on the planet and believes he’s No. 1. [******************************************************************************************************************************************************************* *********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** ***********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

“Absolutely not,” Whittaker responded when asked on mainevent if he was rooting for someone. I hope that they hurt one another extremely. As bad as (laughs). They should never fight — they must be so hurtful that it is impossible to forgive them.

“I do believe I’m the best middleweight in the world, I just get countered by ‘Izzy’ so hard (laughs). He’s just my counter. He is my counter. I can’t stand him

Whittaker saw his title run come to an end after being knocked out in the second round against Adesanya in their initial Oct. 2019 encounter. They rematched earlier this year with Whittaker, who put up an even more competitive effort but fell short of the unanimous decision.

For Adesanya, he’s been virtually unmatched as a striker in the octagon. The expectation due to their history is that Pereira will provide one of the stiffer challenges yet and Whittaker feels there’s one very specific key factor that the fight will boil down to.

“There’s a few elements that I can see in the fight, which is why I’m paying so much attention to it,” Whittaker stated. “They fought each other multiple times before, but they fought each other in bigger gloves. Both were landing strikes on one another, and tagging the other. How does small gloves impact that? If they can land shots like they did in kickboxing in this fight coming up with the small gloves because the smaller gloves make the biggest difference. It impacts the entirety of the fight. How they engage, how wreckless they are moving forward, all of that.

“How that changes, what is that going to do to the fight itself? Next, which fighter has shown more growth in their time apart from each other since the last bout? In their absence from one another since the last fight, who has developed enough ?”



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Between the Links.

Prochazka vs. Teixeira 2 first staredown.

Special UFC 281 media day.

Embedded 4.

State of the UFC strawweight division.

Carla Esparza career retrospective.

To the top Poirier vs. Chandler.

Dan Hooker’s best finishes.

DC and Anthony Smith breakdown UFC 281.

Crazy moments of upcoming Bellator prelim fighters.

UFC 281 CKB All Access Ep. 2.

Empire State staredown.

Pereira BTS.


Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck makes bold predictions for UFC 281, Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira main event.


Jiri champ.








Jordan Leavitt (10-2) vs. Victor Martinez (13-4); UFC Fight Night, Feb. 25


How do you not love Whittaker?

Happy Friday, gang! Have a great and safe weekend. Thank you for reading.


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