UFC 271 saw Robert Whittaker taking on Israel Adesanya for the second time in order to recapture his title. The rematch occurred two weeks ago and the judges’ decision did not go in favour of the former champion.
But according to Robert Whittaker, he won the fight. During his interview with Daniel Cormier in the octagon after the fight, Rob claimed that he thought the fight should have been scored in his favour. Whittaker was very surprised with the result and thought he did enough to win the fight.
Later that night in the press conference, the champ completely dismissed the claim. He made fun of Whittaker by saying the latter was sipping on Paulo Costa’s wine.
????????????????????— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) February 13, 2022
Buy all the Loui V, Gucci and Fendi belts you want boy. I earnt mines through blood, sweat and tears…priceless!! It’s easy to be the bigger man when you are thee bigger MAN! #andstill ????????✨ pic.twitter.com/A5XAVZ5fva
During a recent interview with SUBMISSION RADIO, ‘The Reaper’ finally had the opportunity to back up his claim and elaborated on he thinks he won the fight.
Robert Whittaker comments on the first round knockdown against Israel Adesanya at UFC 271
Some fans and experts argued that Robert Whittaker won the contest. However, even they would not score the first round of the fight in the favor of Rob. He was comparatively passive in the first round and suffered a knockdown as well. During the interview, he clarified what led to the knockdown and once again heaped praise on Adesanya.
“In the first round, one of those kicks skimmed my eye. His big toe skimmed my eye so I had double vision in my right eye. So yeah, when he was lining me up in the southpaw stance to fire down the pipe. I thought he missed,” Whittaker said jokingly.
“Nah, he did not miss. It wasn’t too bad of a shot. Maybe other fighters will know. It’s like one of those ones that just puts you on your bum. But you’re still there (conscious) the whole time. So yeah, it wasn’t too bad. But it’s certainly dangerous because he’s a great fighter. You don’t wanna be on your bum when you’re fighting someone like him.”
Whittaker explains his game plan for UFC 271
‘Bobby Knuckles’ was also asked about his game plan in the fight. In the first fight at UFC 243, Whittaker was ultra-aggressive. Although he did have moderate success in landing a few blows, the Aussie was ultimately knocked out in the second round. Hence, he was expected to have a different game plan, the second time around. Speaking on that, he said,
“Well, you had to (adapt), because he was adapting. I mentioned this in a lot of the interviews beforehand. It’s just like we had the rough game plan of what we needed to do, what we wanted to accomplish or what we wanted to execute in the fight. But it also has to work off what he’s doing to stop that. What’s he’s using that’s effective against me. And I think the game plan went really really well.”
“It was obviously to have that fast jab in there to make him pay every time he came in. I believe I won every striking exchange when we came close together. My jab was on point and I was mixing the takedowns into the rounds. Yeah, it was making him uncomfortable. He didn’t have any freedom in striking. That was the game plan. I believe I controlled a lot of the rounds because of it.”
Despite the loss, Robert Whittaker is currently sitting at #1 in the middleweight division. He already has wins over the likes of Derek Brunson and Jared Cannonier. The latter is the most likely contender to face Izzy next. Hence Whittaker will not slip down too much in the pecking order. A fight against Paul Costa may be on the cards. Both were matched up earlier. But Costa pulled out of the fight and Rob went on to face Kelvin Gastelum.