As we head into the pugilistic proceedings of February 12th, Dan Hooker breaks down Israel Adesanya/Robert Whittaker at UFC 271.
During The AllStar MMA Live show, John Hyon Ko spoke with the exciting featherweight fighter about Adesanya vs Whittaker II and the City Kickboxing compatriot got in-depth with the UFC middleweight title clash.
Understanding Of The Game
The narrative does still remain with some pundits, fans, and even fighters that you just have to take Izzy down to get it done against him.
Hooker sees that as a bit of an overly simplistic characterization when considering the depth of martial arts intel the reigning UFC middleweight champion has.
“It’s incredibly hard to see someone outstriking Israel. Just like what we were talking about with Blood Diamond. That amount of ring time. That amount of understanding of the game. Having that much experience within our sport is absolutely incredible. It’s like once you get to the UFC and you’re in the top echelon. Say you’ve only ever fought professional MMA and then you fight your first guy of a certain style?”
“You’re having to do that in the main event of a UFC. Like that’s the first time you’re ever seeing that. But you go back in Israel’s catalog, he can go back into his hundred kickboxing fights. Be like, oh I’ve fought a heavy punching southpaw pressure fighter eight times. Well, I can refer to my history of that and how I dealt with that. What I learned from those eight times and take that into the main event. So it’s just a whole different level of experience.”
Unused Game Plan Against Whittaker
This upcoming sequel affair represents, in the perceptions of many, the highest level of matchup currently in the UFC’s stacked 185-pound ranks.
While “Hangman” isn’t necessarily directly involved in the game planning for this one, he still has a lot of quality insights leading into this rematch.
“I’m just a fighter. I’m not part of the coaches’ discussions or anything like that. But I heard Eugene (Bareman) talk about it in another interview. They didn’t even get to the game plan. He (Israel) has that authority to just autonomously change the game plan. He saw something, the counter-punching and the check hook. Saw that hole in the game and threw that on the fly.”
“So from what Eugene is saying, they didn’t even implement their game plan in that fight. So they still have a completely unused game plan for Rob which they hadn’t used yet. They have a great opportunity in the rematch to go back and revisit that game plan. Which is all there. It all would have been effective regardless. Izzy called an audible and it worked really well. There’s like a whole game plan that hasn’t even been used yet. So yeah, we’re excited to see how that preparation plays out.”
What are your thoughts on Dan Hooker’s breakdown for Israel Adesanya/Robert Whittaker at UFC 271?