Robert Whittaker is ‘a different man’ ahead of UFC 271 showdown with Israel Adesanya


Robert Whittaker is ‘a different man’ ahead of UFC 271 showdown and is relishing his underdog status while Israel Adesanya ‘sits on the high horse’ ahead of highly-anticipated rematch

  • Robert Whittaker has the chance for revenge at UFC 271 against Israel Adesanya
  • Australian fighter is planning to use the full array of tools at his disposal  
  • He welcomes the underdog tag and admits that it takes the pressure off him 
  • Former champion feels far more at home with himself and his motivations now  


Robert Whittaker has insisted he is a ‘different man’ now to the one who lost against Israel Adesanya back in 2019.

He has the chance for revenge at UFC 271 on February 12 and is relishing the underdog tag, admitting it takes a certain amount of pressure off his shoulders. 

He told Unibet Australia: ‘I’m the underdog, (It) makes sense, you know. He already beat me once. He’s the current champ. 

Israel Adesanya reigns supreme as the UFC’s middleweight champion ahead of February 12 

Robert Whittaker (left) has fought his way back to a title shot and revenge mission

Robert Whittaker (left) has fought his way back to a title shot and revenge mission 

‘He’s sitting at the high horse and he beat me the first time. It definitely takes some of the pressure off, being the underdog.

‘No one expects me to win. No one expects me to go over there and dethrone him after he beat me already. Throughout my whole career, I’ve loved being the underdog. 

‘I love getting in there and defying the odds. I like going in there and proving people wrong. It gives me that little bit of extra edge.’

Whittaker reigned supreme as the middleweight champion before he was unceremoniously dethroned by Adesanya in front of a packed Marvel Stadium in Melbourne three years ago. 

Whittaker insists he is a different man and different fighter ahead of the huge rematch

Whittaker insists he is a different man and different fighter ahead of the huge rematch

Since then, he has won all three of his fights by unanimous decision and earned a rematch with ‘Stylebender’, who remains undefeated in the weight class. 

He believes he has developed his game to avoid the same result as last time. 

Whittaker added: ‘As a fighter, I’ve changed plenty, you can see I’m trying to incorporate new angles into my game, use a more complete skillset. 

‘Most importantly, outside of the octagon, I’m not the same guy I was then. I have much more of a grip of who I am, why I do things, why I train, why I want to win. 

Adesanya defeated Marvin Vettori last summer to retain his middleweight title

Adesanya defeated Marvin Vettori last summer to retain his middleweight title  

‘The most important thing is just winning, doesn’t matter if it is for a belt or not, it is about winning. I think the path to victory is to go in and use my full skillset, punching, boxing, take him down, make him uncomfortable, I’m a BJJ black belt, I work my grappling five days a week. 

‘I certainly think if I can get him on his back I can make him uncomfortable. 

‘Regardless of the outcome, I’m going to leave satisfied, I’m going to be satisfied because I’m going in there as me, to fight like I do.’



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