UFC 276: Israel Adesanya dismisses a potential trilogy fight with Robert Whittaker

  • Tom Ward

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is not interested in a trilogy bout with Robert Whittaker.

The Last Stylebender, 32, has twice fought ‘Bobby Knuckles’, 31, and was fortunate enough to walk away with a win on both occasions.

Adesanya stunned Whittaker in their first fight in October 2019 – knocking out the Australian with a beautiful one-two combination in the second round that planted him firmly on his backside.

He then did the double over him to go two-nil up in their series two years later – winning a unanimous decision over the Sydneysider in a five-round war at Houston’s Toyota Center in Texas on February 12.

The New Zealander used his elite kickboxing skills to outbox Whittaker on the outside which helped him get the nod on the scorecards.

Such is his level of dominance, Adesanya has revealed he isn’t interested in giving Whittaker a third chance to beat him, claiming he can’t really see the point.

But with that being said, never say never.

“Bobby, he’s a great fighter,” he told a press conference.

Israel Adesanya isn’t interested in another rematch with Robert Whittaker

“I’ll give it to him, he’s a great fighter, but I know how that book ends. I’ve read that book twice already. First time was a quick read, second time was a little bit longer.

“He’s probably going to be at the top for a little while longer, but if we fight again, I know how that book ends, you know? That’s why I’m excited about this next fight, some new blood, someone I’ve never fought before.

“If he wants, he should go up to 205, see what that’s about. Maybe try that for a little bit. But yeah, I’ve read that book already, and I don’t like reading the same book over and over again.”

Adesanya is now set to defend his 185lb belt against Jared Cannonier, who lost to Whittaker in October 2020.

But after he defeated Derek Brunson earlier this year, the American was installed as the No1 contender.

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Speaking to reporters at a press conference to promote his upcoming clash with Cannonier, Adesanya was equally fairly dismissive of his next opponent.

He added: “He’s a guy that packs a lot… he still carries that strength around, so I can’t overlook him.

“But, I don’t think he’ll be the toughest challenger. Honestly, think I’ll make this easy. I really believe I’ll make this look easy come July 3rd.

“A prediction, I’ll give you a prediction, it’s gonna be fun, it’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna look a lot like the Costa fight minus the little tap-tap at the end.”

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