UFC Champ Israel Adesanya made hypocritical remarks on UFC 271 opponent Robert Whittaker’s New Zealand heritage

Israel Adesanya has faced significant criticism following a racially-charged outburst during an uncomfortable face-off with top-ranked middleweight contender Dricus Du Plessis.

After Dricus Du Plessis scored a second-round knockout victory over Robert Whittaker at UFC 290, ‘The Last Stylebender’ entered the Octagon and engaged in a ‘memorable’ staredown, one marred by racial undertones between Adesanya, who was born in Nigeria, and his South African opponent.

Their rivalry quickly intensified when Du Plessis suggested that he would become the UFC’s first legitimate African champion, indirectly challenging Adesanya’s claim to his African heritage, given his upbringing and residence in New Zealand.

Adesanya made contradictory comments on Whittaker’s background

Adesanya became incensed by Du Plessis’ insinuation that living in New Zealand made him less African. However, Izzy is now being called out for the same behavior toward former opponent Robert Whittaker before their initial fight in 2019.

In a video clip shared on Twitter by @SpinninBackfist, Israel Adesanya refers to Whittaker as “completely Australian,” despite ‘The Reaper’ being born in the same country that Adesanya currently calls home, New Zealand.

“He’s completely Australian. He disowned New Zealand in a way,” Adesanya said. “I live in Auckland and Auckland’s my home. New Zealand’s my home and Australia is his home. There’s a line in the sand and you’re on that side. I’m on this side. So if you’re on the other side, f*ck the other side.”

It’s undoubtedly a concerning situation for ‘Stylebender’ as he faces criticism for a recently resurfaced video in which the UFC middleweight champion tries to assert his Chinese heritage.

Israel Adesanya defeated Whittaker in UFC 271

Robert entered UFC 271 with the goal of demonstrating his progress and narrowing the gap in skill between himself and Israel since their last encounter in Melbourne back in 2019. However, despite his efforts, Whittaker fell short in Houston.

Israel Adesanya

In their previous meeting, Whittaker, 31, suffered a humbling defeat at Marvel Arena. Since then, he has secured three consecutive victories and was determined to exhibit his improvements while seeking redemption at the Toyota Center.

With a strategy focused on wrestling and patient striking, Robert faced the challenge of overcoming a significant seven-inch reach disadvantage to land impactful strikes against the reigning champion.

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Sami Haider

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Sami Haider is a UFC/boxing journalist who connects combat sports to pop culture. His deep passion for the UFC started in 2018, triggered by the UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor fight. He is a passionate writer who has a profound love for the sport and the skills that are used in it. Through his work, Sami aspires to connect combat sportsmen and their enthusiastic fans.


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