Israel Adesanya is in preparation for his third defense of the UFC middleweight title. The match will be played on June 12 in Glendale against Marvin Vettori. The Italian actually got into a fight after it was not accepted by Robert Whittaker.
Namely, although the Australian fought Kelvin Gastelum on April 17, the UFC wanted to immediately jump into this fight. Because "Reaper" had five tough rounds against Gastelum and came out of the fight with several injuries that require a short rest, and since he must first spend two weeks in quarantine when he returns to Australia, he did not accept the fight.
It is also clear why. There are eight weeks between those two fights, which is an average time of a real training camp in which the fighters enter completely ready and rested. Whittaker explained it all, and we have to admit that almost everyone accepted his decision with understanding.
In fact not all, if we look at the latest statements of Eugene Bareman, Adesanya’s head coach. He believes that Whittaker missed his chance to attack the title by refusing to fight and that he is now returning to those who have to fight for it again.
Regardless of the fact that he held the position of the first challenger even before the fight against Gastelum and that he recorded three big victories after the defeat by Adesanya.
Bareman on Whittaker
"It's a very strange decision for me.
When you look at our situation, even the last fight, we got into it with a few injuries. There are some things you can't refuse, no matter what." "No matter how many family members are waiting for you. I don't want to be insensitive, but that's the way things are in this sport.
When you reach for something, then you have to catch it right away." "This was very unexpected for us. Especially since we fight through everything that strikes us. When you get to the title fight, the decision is already made for you."
"The UFC gave him a chance and he turned it down and now there is a chance for Vettori "Bareman commented in an interview with MacLife, adding something about Whittaker's current situation: "We know Robert's situation now.
When you turn down an opportunity like this, then you have to sit back at the bottom of the list. He's back in the drum now, which is unfortunate for him, but I guess he had good reasons for making that decision. As far as we are aware of that, he said no."
"So, he went back to where he was. We have other guys coming. There's Holland, there's Darren Till. He had a chance to stand out from the others, but unfortunately for personal reasons he didn't. Now he has to fight again to win his place again, just as we would have to if we refused to fight for the title." "Vettori is the one who decided to accept it, so we are now concentrating on him. "