UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker is expected to meet the winner in a title unification fight later this year. Whittaker seemingly wants Adesanya to win that bout because it would give Whittaker a chance to show Adesanya that the fighter isn’t as he thinks he is.
“I think that Adesanya isn’t as good as he thinks he is,” Whittaker said on Grange TV (via MMA Fighting). “I think he’s very good - very, very good - and I have a lot of respect for his skillset, 100 percent. He’s a dangerous guy. But I don’t think the pedestal that he’s on is as high as everyone else thinks it is, as he thinks it is. I think his fight with Anderson Silva was the first time his stand-up capabilities were put to the test with someone with similar stand-up capabilities. I don’t think Adesanya’s striking is as good as he believes. it is. It’s very good. I’m not saying his striking is bad, it’s very, very good - but I just don’t think it’s as good as he thinks it is. The times Adesanya’s looked very good is against people that don’t have the greatest striking.”
Adesanya currently holds a professional MMA record of 16-0-0 and that includes a win over former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva at UFC 234.
Assuming that Adesanya is victorious at UFC 236, fans can expect to see Whittaker ready for a title unification bout in one to three months.
“I’m looking to fight the winner of that,” Whittaker said. “I guess, in terms of timelines and dates, it will be a month - two or three months after that. Three months maximum, one month minimum. That’s the kind of timeline I’m looking for.”
UFC 236 takes place on Saturday, April 13 from a location to be announced and with a main event to be announced. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.