Speaking on the UFC 243 media conference call, Adesanya said he believes he can beat Whittaker comfortably.
“I think he’s a guy I can pick apart easily, as a challenger I haven’t faced before, I don’t think he poses a lot of challenges. I think he just does what he does very well. But there’s going to be a certain amount of awkwardness that he has that I feel like I haven’t seen before, but he can try and prove me wrong.
From what I see, I’ll pick him apart quite easily.”
Adesanya will have a seven-inch reach advantage in the fight which he uses incredibly well in his style and could pose some problems for “The Reaper”. Adesanya also believes the reach advantage will be a factor and said he has been working on fixing any holes that Kelvin Gastelum may have exploited during their bout.
“One-hundred percent it’s an advantage, you know. I have attributes that I use very well, and I think what his camp might look at is the last fight and think, “Oh, well Kelvin was able to get close”.
That was just an error on our part, and a beautifully crafted game plan on their part, on how to get close but we’ve taken care of those errors and those misjudgements on our side. So yes, I’m going to be able to use my height and reach, like I always have.”
Finally, Adesanya touched on another potential advantage he has over Whittaker which is his level of activity recently. Adesanya has had a monumental climb to the top of the division going 6-0 in the UFC in just 15 months to become the interim middleweight champion. Due to injuries and setbacks, Whittaker has only managed to compete one time during the same period and has not competed in 16 months.
“For ring rust he can say what he has to say to keep him believing but there’s a difference between fighting in front of 50 people in some hall and fighting in front of 60,000 people in a stadium. I’ve been active, he hasn’t. I have momentum on my side, he hasn’t.
I really don’t care if he’s ring rusted or if he’s not, I’m just going to do what I do anyway. It doesn’t really matter what he’s bringing.”
UFC 234 goes down this weekend at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.