'Who let this guy in?': Robert Whittaker stunned by 'giant' Alex Pereira
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UFC star Robert Whittaker has revealed his stunned response to the sheer size of ‘giant’ new UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira.
The Aussie has called his shot against the new champ, however, had a hilarious response to just how big Pereira is, asking ‘who let this guy in?’
He spoke to reporters about Adesanya’s shock TKO loss to Pereira as well as his upcoming UFC Perth bout with Paulo Costa.
He said: “I’m not planning past Costa.
“But I think Pereira is a better matchup for me than Israel. The way he stands, the way he likes to push forward and the way he likes to fight I feel gives me a better edge.”
And while he feels like he can take on the champion, he wasn’t shy about just how shocked he was by the Brazilian’s size.
He continued: “In saying that, did you see the size of the fella? Why is nobody mentioning that? Dude’s a giant. He’s an absolute giant.
“I’ve been face-to-face with Israel – he’s actually pretty big. He looks tall and lanky but he’s actually a big dude. And you see Pereira up against him and just his facial features are bigger, his feet, hands, forearms are massive. I’m just thinking, who let this guy in?
“But still I think I can take him.
“I was just looking at that fight (between Adesanya and Pereira) – it was a great fight. I was looking at it like, man these guys are sooo tall! Look at the range on them.”
Whittaker was quick to heap praise on both rivals and their performances on the weekend.
He added: “For one, Izzy’s growing on me, for whatever reason. The amount of research and stuff that I’ve done into him, has made me actually start to like him.
“I would be belittling it trying to take any jabs at (the bout). I think it was a stellar performance between two super high-level athletes and they should both be proud of themselves.
“Pereira almost got finished in the first round. Izzy came in with a ton of confidence in the second and third and started waning as Pereira obviously wasn’t going anywhere.”
Whittaker admitted he found it hard to enjoy the fight as he was too busy sizing each fighter up and thinking of how he could take them down.
He said: “This is why I find it hard to watch middleweight fights. I’m always kind of sizing up everybody. It makes the fights no fun,” he said.
“The whole I was watching I was like, ‘yeah I’m faster than him’. Or ‘I can do that’, different things like that. It was just a great fight. They are great fighters.”
Whittaker takes on Paulo Costa at UFC 284, in Perth on February 12, 2023.