Robert Whittaker explains why he’s picking “awkward” Dricus du Plessis to defeat Israel Adesanya

By Harry Kettle - January 26, 2024

UFC star Robert Whittaker has explained why he’s picking Dricus du Plessis to defeat Israel Adesanya in their rumored showdown.

Israel Adesanya vs. Dricus du Plessis

Last weekend, Dricus du Plessis made a pretty emphatic statement when defeated Sean Strickland to become the new UFC middleweight champion. The win completed his meteoric rise to the top of the 185-pound division.

As part of that rise, he beat Robert Whittaker, finishing the former champ in sensational fashion. Now, he has another big name on his radar, with Israel Adesanya seemingly gearing up for another crack at the championship.

RELATED: Israel Adesanya responds to callout from UFC middleweight champion Dricus Du Plessis: “This arc in my story was written long ago”

In a recent interview, the aforementioned Whittaker explained why he believes du Plessis has what it takes to topple ‘Stylebender’.

Whittaker picks du Plessis

“I’m going to say DDP,” Whittaker said on The MMA Hour when asked to predict the fight. “Just because, like Sean with Dricus, the safe bet is Sean, but Dricus showed what he was willing to do and what he was willing to go through. Can he do that again against Izzy? Who knows? But he’s a tough guy. He’s awkward and he’s going to be pushing forward that entire time. It doesn’t matter if he’s getting hit, he showed that tenacity in that fight. So I’ll go DDP.”

“As someone who has fought Dricus, I understand how awkward he is to fight,” Whittaker said. “Everyone who saw the fight can say how awkward he looks. Dude, he was throwing overhands from the first bell to the last bell, and he was throwing combos off of them! [Laughs.] I’ve never seen someone combo a left overhand into a right overhand! The guy is awkward, switching stances the whole fight, pushing forward, tough as nails, taking shots the entire time to land shots. You’ve got to give it to him.”

Quotes via MMA Fighting

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Dricus du Plessis Israel Adesanya Robert Whittaker UFC