After a little over two years since the first fight Robert Whittaker has worked his way back to a rematch with reigning champion Israel Adesanya.
I really liked Adesanya a lot in the rematch as I thought Whittaker’s style was perfect for him to get the better of the exchanges. To no surprise Adesanya did just that as outside of a handful of shots landed by Whittaker, Adesanya saw pretty much everything coming at him and his years of kickboxing experience helped him stay out of harm’s way. Whittaker was getting too aggressive and eventually got caught with a counter and ended up losing by knockout in the second round. It was a really impressive performance by a challenger in a big time championship fight.
I am once again picking Adesanya to win the rematch here for a number of reasons. Whittaker may sit back and be more calculated with his approach and shot selection but, in doing that leaves him to be picked apart by the champion. Adesanya might start off slow himself but his patience, kickboxing experience, and ability to throw Whittaker off guard with his variety of strikes will only confuse Whittaker more. It is possible Whittaker utilizes the wrestling approach that Jan Blachowicz blueprinted but it was the weight class disadvantage for Adesanya that made it even worse for him. Adesanya has shown really solid takedown defense and technique to defend them so I feel confident in the champion keeping it on the feet.
This should be a more slow and calculated fight between two elite middleweights with Adesanya leading the charge between the two. A second finish for him is not out of the question but I am leaning towards a decision victory with Israel Adesanya getting his hand raised once again.
Prop: Israel Adesanya Wins By Decision (+170)