Israel Adesanya on potential Robert Whittaker trilogy: ‘He’s a great fighter but I know how that book ends’

Israel Adesanya doesn’t see a need for a third fight with Robert Whittaker.

The UFC middleweight champion, Adesanya (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) dethroned Whittaker with a dominant second-round knockout at UFC 243 in October 2019. The pair ran things back this past February at UFC 271, when Adesanya was able to beat “The Reaper” again, this time by unanimous decision.

Whittaker (23-6 MMA, 14-4 UFC) now has a pivotal Sept. 3 clash with Marvin Vettori in Paris and hopes a win earns him a trilogy bout with the champion. However, up 2-0, Adesanya thinks that chapter is already closed.

“Bobby, he’s a great fighter, I’ll give it to him,” Adesanya said Tuesday in a UFC press conference in Australia. “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, the second time a little bit longer, but I mean, he’s probably gonna be at the top for a while. But if we fight again, I know how that book ends, you know?”


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Adesanya aims for his fifth title defense when he faces Jared Cannonier in the main event of UFC 276 on July 2. Having already beaten Whittaker and Vettori twice, “The Stylebender” is looking forward to a new challenge.

“So, that’s why I’m excited about this next fight,” Adesanya said. “Some new blood, someone I’ve never fought before. I told you, if (Whittaker) wants it, 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 yeah, I don’t like reading the same book over and over again.”

Adesanya’s past two wins came via unanimous decision, but he sees himself getting back to his finishing ways against Cannonier.

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

He continued, “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.”