Israel Adesanya has addressed recent comments from UFC middleweight champion Robert Whitakker in which he downplayed Adesanya’s abilities.
Whittaker took to his podcast to say he feels Adesanya isn’t as good as he thinks he is, something which “The Last Stylebender” hopes to disprove. Talking to Submission Radio recently, Adesanya discussed why Whittaker’s comments don’t affect him.
“I don’t think of those comments and it doesn’t affect me in any way,” Adesanya said. “I mean, when the time comes, when I have the mic in my hand, I’m saying my thing. I’ll say, he thinks I’m not as good as I think I am, I’ll show him I’m greater than I think I am. So, they all can talk, they all have something to say until they’re in front of me, and they get chin checked.”
If Adesanya comes on out top in his interim middleweight title fight against Kelvin Gastelum next month, it’s almost inevitable he will get a shot at Whittaker. The undefeated breakout star of last year, who defeated Anderson Silva last month, said he is not like anyone Whittaker has already fought.
“I’m not like Wonderboy [Stephen Thompson],” Adesanya said. “Even the way I fight, I’m not like Wonderboy, I’m not like anyone he’s ever fought that’s actually given him problems, depending on weight classes. I’m not like Yoel Romero. This is different. I’m still learning.
You know, even though I’ve had so many fights in just one year, I’ve learned and I’ve grown with each fight, but it’s only been a year in the UFC. Don’t worry. They’re writing checks with their mouth right now, but their ass will cash it later on.”
UFC 236 will take place at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on April 13th. The event will be headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier. Adesanya vs Gastelum will serve as the co-main event.