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Coach: Whittaker’s two wins over Romero are a bigger feat than beating Israel Adesanya

Alex Prates, Robert Whittaker’s jiu-jitsu coach, thinks his fighter’s two wins over Yoel Romero is more impressive than beating Israel Adesanya.

MMA: UFC 225-Whittaker vs Romero Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Whittaker’s jiu-jitsu coach, Alex Prates, has explained why he thinks Whittaker is a better version of George’s St-Pierre, and why a win over Israel Adesanya wouldn’t be the biggest of Whittaker’s career.

Current middleweight champion Whittaker will face the interim champ Adesanya in the main event of UFC 243 on October 5th. Talking recently to MMA Fighting, Prates discussed Whittaker’s matchup with Adesanya.

“Maybe you’ll see Robert Whittaker using a style that I think is the one that suits him better but he never really needed it because it was always comfortable for him on the feet for most of his fights,” Prates said. “With Yoel Romero, for example, it would have been stupid to try to take him down. But Robert has great wrestling and great timing. I honestly think Robert is a better version of GSP. And we might see this now.

“I think that Robert is technically superior on the ground and with his wrestling. I won’t say Robert’s striking is superior, but it’s definitely on the same level of Adesanya’s. I see many people saying that Adesanya is a better striker and I think that’s really unfair. If Robert hasn’t proved yet that he’s one of the best strikers of the division, I don’t know what else he needs to do.”

Despite the matchup with undefeated Adesanya, Prates thinks Whittaker’s two wins over Yoel Romero means more than a win over Adesanya. Prates also disagrees that “The Last Stylebender” is a new prospect given his vast experience in kickboxing before transitioning to MMA.

“Robert defeated Romero twice. If you ask my personal opinion, my understanding of MMA, defeating Romero twice is a bigger feat than defeating Adesanya,” Prates said. “Israel definitely is a star here, but I think there’s a misunderstanding when people say he’s a new prospect. He’s older than Robert, he’s a veteran with more than 60 kickboxing fights. He’s super experienced, and that’s how we look at him. We don’t think his ground game is bad, that his wrestling is bad. He’s a MMA fighter. I just think that Robert combines it really well. When he combines his striking and wrestling, he’s really hard to read.”

UFC 243 takes place at the newly constructed Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Asutralia. The co-main event for the fight card is expected to be a lightweight bout between Dan Hooker and Al Iaquinta. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes as the event approaches.

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