Although Whittaker was primarily known for his striking skillset when he first emerged in the UFC, he has developed his wrestling to the point that he claimed a gold medal at the Australian national champions in 2017 before qualifying for the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
Following Nurmagomedov’s victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242, Whittaker applauded the Russian’s dominant performance on his podcast, . And ahead of his meeting with Israel Adesanya on Sunday at Marvel Stadium, he again applauded the “phenomenal” ability of “The Eagle.”
“I’m a huge fan of Khabib,” Whittaker told MMA Fighting at Friday’s UFC 243 media day. “I think he’s phenomenal, honestly. I think what he does is crazy. I think his skillset is amazing. I think his cardio and his endurance is ridiculous. I think he’s amazing, I’m a huge fan.
“What I like about him more than anything is, for one, he’s a straight character, I really admire and respect that. And two, everybody knows what he’s going to do—every single person—and no one can stop him. I think that’s phenomenal.”