Morning Report: Israel Adesanya on Robert Whittaker: ‘He thinks I’m not as good as I think I am, I’ll show him I’m greater than I think I am’
Whittaker and Adesanya have seemingly been on a collision course for the past year as Adesanya has stormed his way up the UFC rankings. In fact, the two might have been booked against each other this year had Whittaker not been forced out of his title defense against Gastelum due to a sudden hernia at UFC 234. Instead, Whittaker is now on the mend and has made it clear that if he had his druthers, Adesanya would beat Gastelum so he could fight “The Last Stylebender” next and prove that he “isn’t as good as he thinks he is.” Now, Adesanya has responded.
Speaking recently with Submission Radio, Adesanya addressed Whittaker’s comments and actually agreed with Whittaker. He isn’t as good as he thinks he is - he’s better.
“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.”
Adesanya has only been in the UFC for a year but in that short time he has already racked up five wins and built a cult of personality that has fans likening him to Conor McGregor. That confidence was well-earned from his years in kickboxing but Whittaker believes that doesn’t translate over to MMA where striking is very different, and where guys like Yoel Romero are more dangerous. In short, Whittaker believes he can beat Adesanya on the feet, but “The Last Stylebender” isn’t buying it.
“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.”
Later on could be as soon as this summer if Adesanya beats Gastelum next month. Whittaker is targeting a return at the end of the summer against the interim champion, whoever that may be. Adesanya, of course, believes that will be him and it’s a moment he says he’s been dreaming about, not because he particularly cares about the belt, but because he cares about the experience.
“A lot of people say they don’t care about the belt, but that’s not true,” Adesanya said. “For me, when I say it, I really mean that. But I care about it in a way like I care about my jewelry. It looks really nice, and also what it signifies, as well as being the best in the world. But I’ll tell you what, I’ve known a few fighters in the past who I’ve considered to be the best in the world who’ve never had a belt. And the belt’s not always a good judgment on who the best fighter actually is. So yeah, for me, the belt is more like me living what I’ve dreamed in my head, me actually getting it done. And then it’s like, ‘and new’, Dana puts the belt around your waist, and that moment will be cool. But I won’t feel any different. Rashad Evans said it best. He said, after he won the belt at UFC 92 against Forrest Griffin, after he won the belt he expected to feel different, but he never did. And I already kind of know that about myself. Like, it’s not gonna be any different.”
UFC 236 takes place on April 13, in Atlanta, Ga.
Inception. Fan that Conor McGregor allegedly stole phone from tells his side of what happened.
The A-Side MMA Live Chat.
Mixed Moll Whopper coming with some new style.
An inside look at Gunnar’s final training session.
Till’s open workout.
Masvidal fan Q&A. Has a really good line about Yoel in there.
Heavy Hands. Breaking down the best fights at UFC London this weekend.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
At this point, doesn’t seem like Tony is getting the shot.
Ben has the beef.
This is so damn dumb and a lot of people have been talking about it for a long time.
I'm mixed thoughts on this. I'm leaning towards banning...but absolutely recognise the hypocrisy considering I've seen submissions do damage and we know the results of head trauma. What's your take on this @JohnMcCarthyMMA ?— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) March 13, 2019
It really is a slippery slope. Ban A, but keep B, C, D, etc. Then you have to look at the technique and individual. If it’s there move that makes them tough to deal with, banning certain things will change their game drastically. I also cringe from elbows on the floor https://t.co/cibfuuC60m— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) March 13, 2019
Among the worst possible resolutions to this “problem”.
I think the decision should be one you the fighters make. Have a vote on it and go with majority.— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) March 13, 2019
Can this just be a joke ?!! The guy makes a fight in the Bantamweight and almost loses in the points and then fights for the title ??— Dudu Dantas (@DuduDantasMMA) March 13, 2019
What is the criterion for fighting for the belt please someone here tell me? @BellatorMMA @ScottCoker @guicruzzz https://t.co/bnT6ShouQL
Is what it is... still won and still on a very convincing 17 fight win streak I think that in itself is a title fight... good thing you guys aren’t promoters because your company would go under.— Juan Archuleta (@jarchmma) March 13, 2019
You have built your f***ing record off “17 wins” against WHO ?— Dudu Dantas (@DuduDantasMMA) March 13, 2019
Stop and think do not let your ego fool you. In today's time anyone can do is just have a good manager. You just had a fight on the bantamweight and a lot of people think you lost.
I would have fought you if you didn’t get KO your last fight. @BellatorMMA told me you were recovering which is good for you! So now I’m in title contention and your left jealous like I said I’ll fight you if @TheWolfMMA don’t want to fight.— Juan Archuleta (@jarchmma) March 13, 2019
What planet do y live ??— Dudu Dantas (@DuduDantasMMA) March 13, 2019
you’re outdated, man. ♂️ As can put a person who does not accompany his own category to dispute the title. You're a joke!
Remember this: When I fall I fall to up.
Is better you pray not to be on my way this year. @ScottCoker @rtemike @JohnMcCarthyMMA pic.twitter.com/UAhMCmPRnn
Johnny Walker recovering.
Seems like Cejudo is gonna get his bantamweight shot. So much for saving the flyweight division.
Nina understands the tragedy.
Instagram is down. How am I going to know who did and didn’t go to the gym today? ♀️— Nina Ansaroff (@NinaAnsaroff) March 13, 2019
Vladimir Tokov (3-0) vs. Ryan Walker (7-4); Bellator 218, March 22.
Ray Borg (11-3) vs. Kyler Phillips (6-1); UFC on ESPN 2, March 30.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2015: Rafael dos Anjos won the UFC lightweight title, dominating Anthony Pettis over five rounds at UFC 185. This night also saw Joanna Jedrzejczyk begin her strawweight title reign, knocking out Carla Esparza in the second round.
Another quote from Izzy from that interview, this one in reference to Conor’s recent arrest:
“With the Conor situation, I don’t know, but I don’t give a f*ck. Look, if you see Jon Jones doing a line or a picogram somewhere, don’t f*cking run up on him trying to take photos. Because guess what, if he spinning elbows you in the face, you deserve it.”
We do not deserve this man.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.