Morning Report: Robert Whittaker shocked by Alex Pereira’s ‘absolute gigantic’, believes that a new champion is still a better matchup to Israel Adesanya


Robert Whittaker anticipates a major size difference should he be matched with Alex Pereira in the near future.

The Brazilian kickboxing sensation captured UFC gold this past weekend at UFC 281 in only his fourth octagon appearance. Pereira defeated Israel Adesanya to win the Combat Sports hat trick. He fought against the cage in the final round and won the fight.

Watching the bout closer than most as the former champion and top contender, Whittaker — a former welterweight — couldn’t help but notice how large Pereira was compared to their middleweight counterpart. Ahead of the fight, Pereira shared weight highs of 232 pounds in preparation for his big title fight. Ultimately, he had no issues making the 185-pound mark when it mattered most.

“As I said before, I’m not planning past [Paulo] Costa, but I can say that I think Pereira’s a better matchup for me than Israel,” Whittaker said during the UFC 284 tickets-on-sale press conference. Just because of his attitude and drive to succeed. The way he likes to fight I feel gives me a better edge, but in saying that, did you see the size of the fella? (laughs) I’m like, why is nobody mentioning that? He’s a giant. He’s an absolute giant.

“I’ve been face to face with Israel and it’s surprising to see like, Israel’s pretty big. He looks tall and lanky, but he’s actually a big dude. Then you see Pereira up against him and just his facial features are bigger, feet and hands and forearms are massive. “Who let him in?” (laughs) But still, I think I can take him.”

Whittaker’s prior two losses to Adesanya in recent years put him in somewhat of a limbo this year unsure of when he could challenge for a title again. Now that the title has changed hands, the window of opportunity has re-opened, but he may still have to wait to see how a potential rematch between the two plays out first.

Before even that, however, Whittaker will need to get back on a winning streak by defeating the aforementioned Costa at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia on Feb. 11.

“I realized that if waited till November to see who would win, that I could potentially waited out to get a title shot,” Whittaker stated. Whittaker said, “The problem is that I have done it before in that way. I just end up sitting on the bench for so long. It’s all too much (laughs). It’s too much waiting. I just want to get in there, I want to fight. The fact that it’s in Perth is even better. The card is an Australian one, so it’s only a short hop from my home. It’s a great opportunity to get in and give a solid showing .”



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Party on.



Just fight now.

I mean, you earned it, champ.


The Moicano vibe is strong.


MMA all the time.




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Pereira definitely did look massive against Adesanya at UFC 281. Not totally sure how much of a factor that could be for Whittaker in a fight between the two, but I’d love to find out.

Thank you for reading!


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