The plot of this story comprises all of the twists and turns similar to the trials confronted by the protagonists in Whittaker’s favoured video video games: a younger champion is felled by the brand new child on the block, he claws his approach again to a place the place revenge is inside his attain solely to stumble on the remaining hurdle, leaving him staring into the abyss.
However as an alternative of licking his wounds, the Aussie technician is hungry for redemption. Adamant that he was harshly neglected on the judges scorecards – who awarded the competition 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 in Israel Adesanya‘s favour – Whittaker believes he now has the middleweight king’s quantity.
Robert Whittaker is able to launch one other climb in the direction of the UFC middleweight summit
‘My aim is clearly to get that struggle with Israel, to attempt to get that belt again, particularly with the best way our second struggle concluded,’ the 31-year-old, who fights at UFC Paris in September, tells Sportsmail.
‘The plan is easy: to beat everybody in entrance of me and finally they’ll run out of individuals and he must struggle me. I really feel like it’s inevitable, if we keep the course.’
It is a chapter that Adesanya is reluctant to entertain, nonetheless. Earlier this week, the New Zealander insisted ‘I do not like studying the identical e-book time and again’, imploring Whittaker to chop his losses at 185 kilos and transfer as much as mild heavyweight.
‘After all he desires me to get out of there,’ Whittaker responds. ‘I’m essentially the most harmful particular person within the division and I threaten everybody. Nobody is protected [from me] on this division.
The Australian star misplaced out to Israel Adesanya throughout their rematch at UFC 271 in Texas
Regardless of narrowly lacking out, Whittaker is hungry to satisfy Adesanya for a 3rd time
‘I’m the hunter and I would like it. He noticed after that final struggle that I wished it, I’m coming for it, I’m not going to cease till I get it and it is scary.
‘Simply image [looking] over your shoulder and seeing me there, ha! However who is aware of how destiny is… perhaps I give 205 [pounds] a go. [It] just isn’t going to be an up-down system, if I am going to 205 that’s the place I’m ending up, I do not do issues half cocked, I do issues correctly.
‘I’m joyful the place I’m now and I’m doing good work within the middleweight division. The hunt in getting the struggle is enjoyable too, I’m having fun with the concept of beating up all people they put in entrance of me till they’re wanting on the listing with names scratched off they usually’re like “well, Rob’s left I guess”.’
The primary title Whittaker will try to put a line by way of is Marvin Vettori’s. The Italian is one other middleweight to have been dispatched of by Adesanya up to now 12 months and, like Whittaker, is gearing himself up for an additional tilt at UFC gold.
Adesanya has no real interest in a trilogy, however Whittaker claims that speaks to the hazard he poses
‘There’s not lots of people for me and him to struggle with,’ Whittaker admits. ‘We have fought all the highest canine within the division and that is the one logical struggle between us to attempt to get that third struggle with Izzy.
‘I’m excited, I took again one thing that was taken from me within the first struggle [against Adesanya]. Popping out of that struggle accomplished me, I left that struggle upset I did not get the outcome however very happy with the work I had carried out.
‘After shedding that first time the best way I did, to struggle that man to a slim loss it was a giant milestone in my struggle recreation and it made me excited. I left that struggle understanding I’m the most effective middleweight on the earth and that’s how I really feel.’
Whittaker will hope that a part of his middleweight renaissance takes place Down Beneath, with studies suggesting that UFC chiefs have held talks over a potential return in early 2023.
Whittaker is a eager gamer and spoke to Sportsmail forward of UFC Paris in September
The UFC has not visited Australia since 2019, the place Whittaker misplaced his belt to Adesanya at Marvel Stadium and the 31-year-old is keen to struggle on dwelling turf once more – an ambition he’s ‘very assured’ of realising.
‘The world is simply slowly opening up now and it’s extra of a UFC enterprise factor, the chance issue of bringing one thing out right here after which it getting shut down,’ he provides.
‘I’m very, very assured that the UFC involves Australia early subsequent yr. Each time the UFC involves Australia it sells out right away. We’ve quite a lot of Australian and New Zealand fighters that may replenish the cardboard in seconds.
‘I do not really feel sadder for shedding as a result of I misplaced at dwelling, shedding sucks anyway. I all the time like combating at dwelling as a result of it is snug, man. I can keep at dwelling with my household all the best way up till a few days out from the struggle after which pop over.
‘If it is in Sydney I do not even want to try this, the concept of simply driving to the struggle from the home is so international, my children may be part of the entire expertise, the media that will get constructed up, it is a actually actually enjoyable expertise.’
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: GANE vs. TUIVASA tickets go on sale from 09:00 a.m. BST on Friday, June 24, through Accor Enviornment and Ticketmaster.