One thing that Whittaker readily admits is that Adesanya’s trash talk played a factor in the title fight.
“I think it was one more thing that piled on top,” Whittaker told MMA Tonight (via Abhinav Kini of The Body Lock MMA). “One more thing we threw on top of a pile of an already huge clutter mess of what was going on in my head. And certainly, I can’t discount the fact that side of it, as well as the hype and the buildup and the attention me and him were receiving in Australia. … The size of the event, the size of the venue — it was a massive thing. It just blew everything up to bigger proportions. I’m certain it did play a factor. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. But I think it was the cherry on top, not so much the driving factor.”
Whittaker has admitted in the past that trash talking isn’t his thing, but Adesanya did put on a master class before and during their title encounter. The former champion also believes that trash talking can lead some fighters astray.
“If the word battle was the game, I’m pretty sure I could be decent at that, but that’s not the game,” Whittaker said. “You can easily be led astray. You can lose focus because it feels like you’re doing two jobs instead of one.”