Robert Whittaker fires warning to Israel Adesanya ahead of UFC Vegas 24

Robert Whittaker Israel Adesanya

Robert Whittaker has warned Israel Adesanya that he has a couple of secret moves up his sleeve for when they meet - if he can get past Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24.

Whittaker was scheduled to face Paulo Costa in his next fight, but the Brazilian was forced to withdraw because of illness and was replaced by Kelvin Gastelum. 

The two will now meet in a five-round main event in what could turn out to be a potential title eliminator for a shot at the current UFC middleweight champion.

Whittaker looked good in his last outing as he beat Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi. 

And "The Reaper" revealed to ESPN that he has a few tricks up his sleeve for his next encounter with Adesanya, if and when the chance arises.

Whittaker told ESPN's Brett Okamoto: "It's very hard to adapt the plans without [Blachowicz's] power.

"But we've got to wait and see how Izzy comes back down to middleweight; I've got a couple of things up my sleeve I'm looking to try next time we cross paths, so we'll wait and see."

Adesanya (20-1), 31, came up short when he moved up in weight-class to challenge UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 in March.

Meanwhile Whittaker (22-5), affectionately known as "Bobby Knuckles," is on a two-fight winning streak. He had won nine consecutive fights in a row prior to losing his 185-pound belt to Adesanya in their unification title fight in 2019. 

However, the 30-year-old is far too astute to dismiss his experienced opponent in Gastelum so easily. 

"He's had some tough fights and fights like that take it out of you, so it's one of those things," he added. "I'm sure his last win has bolstered his confidence, but I know for a fact that wars are like that, they take it out of you." 

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