The UFC’s announcement of a fight between Adesanya and Vettori caught everyone by surprise. In brief, Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman, explains why the fight is with Vettori and not Robert Whittaker.
Previously, Whittaker put on a masterful performance against Kelvin Gastelum. Immediately, many expected “The Reaper” to call out the middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Accordingly, Whittaker obliged and called for a rematch of their UFC 243 bout.
“For me, it’s a very strange decision,” says Eugene Bareman. According to the trainer, he and Adesanya were looking forward to fighting Whittaker next. However, they reveal that Whittaker himself pulled out of the fight.
“There are certain things you don’t turn down, don’t matter what”. Eugene insists that Whittaker should be making the same sacrifices that Israel and all the other fighters are, despite his family responsibilities.
Although Bareman feels that Whittaker is at the back of the list again, Dana White confirmed that Robert will face the winner of Adesanya vs. Vettori 2 next. Moreover, Whittaker reveals that he is content with the arrangement and will be preparing in the meantime.
Why Did Robert Whittaker Not Take the Fight?
Following the announcement of Adesanya vs. Vettori 2, Robert Whittaker gave his take on the situation. “More or less, I was offered the fight about an hour after my fight with Gastelum,” Whittaker said. “There was just no way, physically, I could do that.
Robert explains that after his fight with Gastelum, he would need to look after his injuries. Moreover, he also has to be in mandatory isolation for two weeks following his arrival back in Australia. As a result, Whittaker claims that a fight in June would be “impossible” for him.
“He’s trying to get me to accept the fight injured, on short notice, with all odds against me, but there was just no way I could get there physically”. Whittaker is adamant that he wants to take his time and prepare well for his title fight. Depending on the health of Adesanya or Vettori after June 12, Whittaker anticipates fighting for the belt by the end of 2021.
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