Robert Whittaker is not underestimating his opponent, Dricus Du Plessis, as they approach UFC 290. Whittaker is heavily favored to win the fight and earn a shot at the middleweight title currently held by Israel Adesanya. While Du Plessis has an unbeaten record in the UFC, he hasn’t faced opponents of Whittaker’s caliber and has struggled against tougher competition. Despite being the favorite, Whittaker understands that fights are not won on paper and recognizes the threat that Du Plessis brings to the table.
Whittaker acknowledges that one of the reasons for Du Plessis’ success is that his opponents have not given him the credit or respect his skill set deserves. Whittaker is fully aware of the hard work he has put in, both in training and in previous fights, and he is prepared to bring the fight to Du Plessis at UFC 290.
For Whittaker, UFC 290 is a crucial moment in his career. While he has found success against almost everyone in the middleweight division, he has suffered two losses to Adesanya in their prior bouts. Whittaker aims to close the talent gap between himself and Adesanya in what may be his final chance to defeat his rival.
Whittaker has shown continuous improvement in his game with each fight, and he expects to showcase that once again at UFC 290. He believes that every fight provides an opportunity to display new aspects of his skills and elevate his game. Whittaker has been working on grappling, wrestling, and refining his boxing, constantly striving to improve his skill set.
The winner of the Whittaker vs. Du Plessis fight has been confirmed by UFC President Dana White as the next number-one contender for Adesanya’s title. While the UFC is targeting a September date for Adesanya’s next title defense, Whittaker is willing to make a quick turnaround if he emerges victorious against Du Plessis. He emphasizes that his focus is solely on the upcoming fight and that he is ready to take any fight, at any time, if he remains healthy and able.