Fresh off an impressive win against Jared Cannonier, former champion Robert Whittaker says the only fight that interests him next is a rematch with Israel Adesanya.
Whittaker (22-5) defeated Cannonier by unanimous decision at UFC 254 in October, picking up his second win of the calendar year. The Australian’s only loss in his last 12 UFC fights came to the current middleweight champion Adesanya last year. Talking to ESPN after his recent win, Whittaker explained why he only wants a fight with Adesanya next.
“It’s the fight that makes sense. I know [Adesanya] doesn’t want it, but I do and I think it will be fun. I think he’s a puzzle that I just want to work at and I want to try and beat. I don’t know how I’ll do it because he’s so good, man. He’s so bloody good. And it may be a repeat of what happened last time but god I wanna try mate!
“He’s the only guy that I want to fight, because I lost to him, and I don’t like losing to people.”
Despite recent talks of him returning, UFC 254 also saw lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s announce his retirement from the sport. “The Eagle” left his gloves in the octagon after submitting Justin Gaethje in the main event to defend his lightweight title. Whitaker said there’s no doubt the Russian is in the “GOAT” conversation.
“In terms of the best ever, he’d have to be up there. The only person I think would come close is Georges St-Pierre,” Whittaker said. “I know Jon Jones is upset about it all, but he’s had too many distractions taking away from what he’s done in the game, granted I think he’s probably the best fighter ever.”