Many in the MMA world believe that Dana White made excuses for Israel Adesanya’s shock defeat against Sean Strickland. Robert Whittaker also joined the list of people disagreeing with White.
The UFC President claimed that Adesanya was moving in “slow motion” and that he “couldn’t get off.” White also believed that Adesanya deserved an instant rematch. But many fans of the sport including Whittaker believe that Adesanya’s continuous title bouts are creating a stagnant period for the UFC Middleweight division.
“Israel looked like he was in slow motion tonight.”
— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) September 10, 2023
During the MMArcade podcast, Whittaker gave his views on the UFC 293 fights along with the main event title fight between Strickland and Adesanya. The Middleweight fighter credited Strickland’s impeccable tactics to stop Adesanya. However, he was not quite convinced by White’s rematch shout for the Nigerian-Kiwi fighter. He said, “It doesn’t make sense.”
Whittaker also commented on people, including White, saying Adesanya looked off. He said, “I see a lot of things popping up saying that Izzy looked off. I don’t think he had an off night. He looked off because Sean shut him down. Izzy wasn’t given any space in the open floor to do any of his tricky kicks. He wasn’t given any space to work any of his flinch games with his punches. He wasn’t given the chance. Sean was in his face from the first bell ring.”
Strickland won the bout via a unanimous decision after dominating the majority of rounds. He even knocked Adesanya off his feet in the very first round. Strickland is now the undisputed UFC Middleweight champion.
Robert Whittaker believes Sean Strickland had an answer for all of Israel Adesanya’s strengths
During the same podcast, Whittaker was all praise for Strickland. Whittaker, who lost his Middleweight title to Adesanya in 2019, believes Strickland defended very well. He said, “Strickland had an answer for every one of Izzy’s techniques. For every one of Izzy’s strengths, Strickland had an answer. He was cutting off the cage perfectly, he was in that threat space where Izzy’s leg kicks were taken out of concern.
“Strickland, his defensive game was on point. With Izzy throwing those looping shots as he kind of rope-a-dopes on the fence there, Strickland was patient, just always keeping Izzy on the back foot, which was taking out of his gas. And, mate, he just kept it consistent from the very first second of the fight to the 25th. It was honestly a great performance from Strickland.”
The Last Stylebender” was initially expected to meet Dricus du Plessis, but DDP was unable to heal in time from an injury. As a result, Strickland filled in for the title fight.
— UFC Live Stream free (@ufcstreamtvfree) September 11, 2023
Whittaker’s last fight was against Dricus du Plessis at UFC 290 in July. Du Plessis was the initial contender for Adesanya’s title defense at UFC 293. However, he had to back out due to injury and Strickland was instated for the fight. The New Zealand-born Australian fighter believes that the Middleweight division needs to move on from Izzy who has only been fighting title fights since April 2019.