Robert Whittaker lauds Israel Adesanya for his clean finish against Paulo Costa, and also acknowledged his counter-striking prowess.
Israel Adesanya, who with his impeccable performance at UFC 253, left many of his peers intrigued has now gained appreciation from fellow middleweight Robert Whittaker as well. Whittaker fought Adesanya in October 2019, at UFC 243, and suffered the same fate as 19 others have endured. While, The Reaper is again on the verge of becoming the No.1 contender for the middleweight title, but before his fight against Jared Cannonier at UFC 254 for the No.1 contendership, the 29-year-old opens up about Israel Adesanya, and laid out his thoughts about Paulo Costa’s lackluster show.
Robert Whittaker Lauds Israel Adesanya’s Striking Prowess
In an Interview with ESPN, Robert Whittaker conveyed that he wasn’t expecting, Israel Adesanya would win in such a one-sided way, however he did considered him as the favourite. Robert Whittaker, who had experienced an intense build-up with Israel Adesanya at the time of UFC 243, expressed his dislike for the Last Stylebender, but also conceded that the Nigerian is a supreme in-ring professional.
“Did I expect Izzy to finish him in that fashion? No I did not. But everything leading up to the finish, I certainly saw as a possibility. He looked good (in) that fight, got to give it to him. I don’t like the guy, but he is bloody good.” Whittaker continued, and threw light on Paulo Costa’s uncharacteristic approach in the fight. “A lot of people are going to say Apollo Costa didn’t do much and maybe he didn’t. But Izzy controlled that fight very very well. He controlled that fight very very well, it’s very hard for Costa to, for people to speak on Costa why he didn’t do what he did because he was in there. It is hard to move forward against the counter-strike like that, especially when he’s making you pay every time you go in. It’s just that Izzy controlled that fight, hats off to Izzy good fight.”
Robert Whittaker further revealed a possible game-plan against Israel Adesanya. “You gotta wait for him to come forward. You gotta play his game, you can’t move in on him. His counter-striking is, honestly it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen, so you have to take that. You have to take that into consideration when preparing for him.”
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