UFC champ Israel Adesanya admits it was wrong, ‘f—d up’ to question Robert Whittaker’s ethnicity

UFC champ Israel Adesanya says he's learned from his mistakes and would no longer repeat the insults he threw at Robert Whittaker.

By: Nate Wilcox | 5 days ago

Israel Adesanya, the UFC middleweight champ, has never been one to shy away from controversy, but it appears the aftermath of his ugly post-UFC 290 confrontation with top contender Dricus Du Plessis has inspired him to rethink some of his prior statements.

MMA: UFC 271-Adesanya vs Whittaker, Feb 12, 2022; Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES; Israel Adesanya (red gloves) and Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) react after their during UFC 271 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports, 12.02.2022 23:51:28, 17676696, NPStrans, Israel Adesanya, TopPic, Toyota Center, MMA, Robert Whittaker PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xTroyxTaorminax 17676696
IMAGO | USA TODAY by Troy Taormina MMA: UFC 271-Adesanya vs Whittaker, Feb 12, 2022

Israel Adesanya: ‘I f*cked up back then’

Israel Adesanya recently appeared on The Halfcast Podcast and spoke openly about his past comments questioning Robert Whittaker’s status as a New Zealander. (Transcription via MMA Junkie).

“Funny enough, someone brought it to my attention that I did the same thing to Rob,” Adesanya said. “And I was like, ‘True, I did, because I called him a mozzie.’ And I was like, ‘F*ck, they’re right.’ But guess what? I was wrong. That’s called growth. I learned. I realized that’s – how’s this, a black guy, telling this f*cking Maori that, ‘Nah, you’re not a f*cking true Kiwi because you live in Australia.’ That’s stupid. So again, this is called growth.

“I can admit when I was wrong. I f*cked up back then, but you learn. So I would never say that to Rob again because, who am I to try and take away his heritage? That’s f*cking stupid. I wasn’t even born here, but I claim to be from here because this is where my fighting heritage is from. But for me to have to say that to Rob, that was very stupid and that was wrong. So I shouldn’t have done that – but you learn.”

Israel Adesanya has more to say about Driscus Du Plessis

In that same episode Israel Adesanya elaborated on his thinking about contender Driscus Du Plessis.

“Now he doesn’t want wanna fight,” Adesanya said on The Halfcast Podcast. “Even after [UFC 290], he’s like ‘Oh bro, all you had to do was put some gloves on, we could have got it on right there.’ Bh a**, f you wouldn’t have. ‘Cause guess what, he didn’t want it…People were like ‘Oh, he’s so classy walking away. He’s so [classy].’ I’m like ‘Bro, he didn’t even walk away. He felt me.” He didn’t wanna feel me.

“He’s not a scared man, he’s a tough dude. He’s very crafty, and he’s got a good team behind him. Smart team. I don’t think he’s a scared man, but I’ll tell you he’s scared of me. You know when you look in someone’s eyes, you just know straight away. He didn’t call me to the cage, I stepped in the cage myself. I didn’t even see him call me…I stepped into the cage because I made this s*** happen. This motherf***er – I hope, I really was hoping he’d f***ing step up. But he’s a b***h, and I’ll tell you right now. Keep training. Keep training. I’ve got something for you’re a**, so keep training.”

Still no opponent for Israel Adesanya at UFC 293

Meanwhile, the UFC is still seeking a headliner for UFC 293. After Du Plessis’ shocking victory over Robert Whittaker at UFC 290, it was hoped Adesanya would face the South African right away. but Du Plessis is too banged up.

Then briefly it appeared Sean Strickland would be the challenger, but the UFC is apparently not interested in booking that bout.

In a now deleted tweet, (via MMA News), Strickland seemed to be giving the UFC an ultimatum.

“Well Monday is my deadline for this fight to happen and if it doesn’t then fuck it life is good. I wont have to cancel my trip I had planned.

“BUT later in the year I want a top ranked guy… Whittaker, Brunson, Izzy.”

We’ll see who the UFC books for Adesanya at UFC 293. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all the latest.

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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