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Morning Report: Israel Adesanya planning to ‘shut him up worse than the first time’ in rematch with Robert Whittaker

February 9, 2019 — Israel Adesanya, just promoted to the main event that morning, gives a nod to Naruto’s Rock Lee in his fight against Anderson Silva. Esther Lin

With 2021 essentially in the books, all eyes in the MMA world now turn to 2022 and the biggest fights that will take place in the new year. Chief among those fights is the impending middleweight title rematch between champion Israel Adesanya and former champion Robert Whittaker which will go down as the main event of UFC 271 in February.

The two first fought at UFC 243 with Adesanya claiming the title in a sensational performance, scoring a second-round knockout of the then-champion. Since then, Adesanya has defended his belt three times (while also coming up short in an attempt to claim the light heavyweight title). Meanwhile, Whittaker has also secured three wins of his own since the loss, all over ranked opposition, and as a result, fans are thrilled at the potential a rematch offers. And it’s not just fans that are excited, the champion is also extremely focused on making a statement in this rematch.

“This is the best I’ve ever come into a camp in shape, and I’m not going out of shape I promise you that,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “I have a point to prove, to myself but just also to, you know those people, I just want to shut them the f*ck up. I mean the motivation for me is he’s not making excuses like (Marvin) Vettori or (Paulo) Costa.”

Since their first encounter, Adesanya and Whittaker have butted heads, their personalities and shared desire to be the best creating obvious friction between the two. Before they fought the first time, Whittaker was dismissive of Adesanya’s resume and striking skills and even after they fought, both men continued to take shots at one another, with Adensaya repeatedly espousing a lack of interest in a rematch and Whittaker calling Adesanya “a sh*thead.” But despite his personal feelings about Adesanya, Whittaker has admitted that “The Last Stylebender” got in his head the first time they fought and won cleanly, something that Adesanya’s other recent victims, Marvin Vettori and Paulo Costa, have both denied. That bit of humility, Adesanya says, is why he finally came around to rematching Whittaker and now he intends to prove it wasn’t just a one-time deal.

“He’s accepted his loss,” Adesanya said. “He finally admitted that I was in his head, and he was emotional, and I was like, ‘Yeah, you finally admitted what I was saying this whole f*cking time.’ So that makes me take him seriously. He’s accepted that, so that makes me take him seriously that okay, he’s got a point to prove, as well. He’s been training, he’s motivated. That gets me up in the morning to shut him up again worse than the first time. That’s what gets me motivated.”

UFC 271 takes place on Feb. 12 in Houston, TX.


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Jealousy. Kevin Lee admits to being ‘a little jealous’ of Sean O’Malley: ‘He did it the right way’.

Odds. Future odds favor three new UFC champions by end of 2022, Conor McGregor long shot to regain UFC title.


VIDEO STEW

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LISTEN UP

We Got Next. Ricky Simon discusses callout of Sean O’Malley after UFC Vegas 45.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Xavier Alaoui (12-4) vs. Fabricio Sarraff (29-9); UAE Warriors, Jan. 15.

Khasan Magomedsharipov (6-0) vs. Jose Sanchez (11-1); Bellator Dublin, Feb. 25.

Ryan Spann (19-7) vs. Ion Cutelaba (16-6-1); UFC Fight Night, Feb. 26.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading, happy New Year, and see y’all next week.


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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