Robert Whittaker believes he matches up better with Alex Pereira than Israel Adesanya.
Whittaker has already lost to Adesanya twice, with one by KO and the other by competitive decision. Yet, with that, it seemed unlikely he would get a trilogy fight anytime soon. However, at UFC 281, Pereira scored a fifth-round TKO over Adesanya to become the new champ.
Now, with a new champ in the division, Whittaker is excited about that as he believes Pereira is a better matchup than him. Yet, he does worry about the size as he jokes about the size of the Brazilian.
Robert Whittaker Talks Better Matchup for Alex Pereira
“I can say that I think Pereira is a better matchup for me than Israel just because of the way he stands and the way he likes to push forward,” Whittaker said at the UFC 284 press conference. “The way he likes to fight, I feel, gives me a better edge. But in saying that, did you see the size of the fella?”
“Dude’s a giant. He’s an absolute giant, because I’ve been face-to-face with Israel, and it’s surprising to see. Israel’s pretty big. He looks tall and lanky, but he’s actually a big dude, and then you see Pereira up against him and just his facial features are bigger. His feet and hands and forearms are massive. Who let this guy in? But still, I think I can take him.”
In order for Whittaker to even get a title shot at Pereira, he will need to defeat Paulo Costa at UFC 284 in Australia in February. It’s his first fight since he beat Marvin Vettori by decision at UFC Paris in September. As for Pereira, it’s uncertain what will be next for him but it does seem likely that a rematch with Adesanya will be next, but if he wins, perhaps the Whittaker fight will come to fruition.