Robert Whittaker knows he has one enormous hill to climb, but if he can do it he sees himself someday standing among the immortals of MMA.
Whittaker is two weeks removed from his second championship bout with Israel Adesanya at UFC 271, where he fell short on the scorecards against the promotion’s reigning 185-pound king. Whittaker lost his second bout with Adesanya. However, unlike the first encounter, which saw Whittaker lose in round two, this time the fight was much closer.
In an interview with Submission Radio , Whittaker, he said that was No. 2 at 185 pounds in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings — summed up why he isn’t overly discouraged by his losses to Adesanya and why he’s still confident that he has what it takes to defeat him.
“It has been hilarious because there is an underlying current that makes me sad that I didn’t get the nod and that I didn’t walk away with my W as I think I should,” Whittaker stated (transcription by Denis Shkuratov). “But in saying that, on the back of it though, I’m very… like, I have that satisfied feeling, cause I went in there and I took it to him and I believe I made a great account of myself. And yeah, I really, really took it to him. Really, really took it to him. My performance is satisfactory to the point that I don’t even know what. It’s something I desire more of, as I believe every fighter should. I don’t think a fighter goes into a fight and be like, ‘Well, that’s the best you’ll ever see of me.’ But it’s one of those things, coming off that first fight with him, changing things up, I improved, I evolved, and I went in there and I gave it to him.”
” I lost the decision,” Whittaker said. “But I’m the best middleweight in the world, and I know this. This screams from my soul. And knowing that, taking that from the fight, especially after the first fight because of the way the first fight went down, it wasn’t a close fight. I was not pleased with my performance, but he did a fantastic job. In the end, I was able to regain a lot of what had been lost during a fight such as that. Because people don’t say, did you lose confidence? You don’t lose confidence, it’s just not quite the same. You can always count on it lingering. I guarantee you I am 200 times better from this last fight than I was before it.”
Whittaker needed to overcome a bad first round to win the fight. During the live broadcast, there were questions about Whittaker’s composure on the still in between Rounds 1 and 2, but the former UFC champion insists that he was just being “cool, calm and collected.”
Whittaker remained consistent in his boxing technique and continued to wrestle well, earning him two rounds on the judge’s scorecards. Whittaker claims he out-struck Adesanya who was a former standout in kickboxing.
“I think the game plan went really well,” Whittaker said. “Really, really well. He was clearly trying to get that quick jab in there to pay him every time he entered. When we were close, I think I won each striking exchange. He was uncomfortable because I mixed the takedown with my jab. Because he didn’t have much freedom to strike, that was his game plan. Because of this .”
, I think I managed to control a large number of rounds.
With Adesanya clearing out most of the division (Whittaker’s second defense against an enemy he had previously defeated was Whittaker’s champion’s first defense), there is a matchup with the presumed No. 1 contender Jared Cannonier, there is the possibility that Whittaker could fight his way back to Adesanya one more time. With a “July” or August date in his mind, Whittaker mentioned Marvin Vettori.
Should he get past Adesanya, Whittaker expects that to validate him as one of the best fighters of all time.
” “It’s almost certain for another fight down below the line,” Whittaker stated. “There’s definitely going to be another fight down the line.”
“I’m the best middleweight in the world,” he later added. “Trust me. That’s my biggest takeaway. I have no ceiling right now, and I’m enjoying the process. And every fight you see a new developed and evolved version of myself. There is no limit. It’s only a matter .”
of time before I become the greatest ever.
Watch Whittaker complete interview on Submission Radio click :