Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker revealed in a recent interview with Mark Howard that Israel Adesanya pushed all his buttons in the leadup to UFC 243 and made ‘The Reaper’ lose his cool on fight night.
Whitaker was knocked out by Adesanya in the second round and admits that the pre-fight trash talk played a huge role in the outcome. The Aussie still thinks Adesanya is a ‘piece of sh-t’ but is determined to keep his emotions under control in the rematch.
“Lets not talk too much about Israel because I think he’s a piece of sh-t,” Whittaker said (h/t MMAMania). “He’s just a sh-t person. A sh-t person. Ah, a piece of sh-t is too rough. Too harsh. He’s a sh-thead. There that sounds better. He’s a sh-thead. I don’t like him, he doesn’t like me. Two cats from two different paths that don’t get along.”
“It did, because the last fight I was kind of very emotional,” Whittaker revealed when asked if Adesanya’s trash talk got the better of him. “I was in a bad place for the sport itself, for my career. I got a bit emotional in that fight because I don’t like him very much and on top of everything else that was going on. Lost my cool. I wasn’t really fighting like I should fight, like I normally fight. Props to him, he got in my head. I just think he’s a shithead.”
Whittaker rebounded from the loss by notching three straight wins against Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum, all of whom are ranked in the top ten. He is expected to face Adesanya in a rematch later this year, although no date or venue has been announced.