The UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will return to defend his throne at UFC 263 on June 12th against “The Italian Dream” Marvin Vettori, originally Robert Whittaker was supposed to face him but he couldn’t compete on such short notice and Vettori stepped in.
Whittaker just defeated the former interim middleweight champion, Kelvin Gastelum, in April, and he was proposed a fight against Adesanya in June, he couldn’t take it as it was impossible to have a weight cut and training camp in such short time.
Whittaker felt like Adesanya wanted to fight him when he wasn’t on 100% and Adesanya said he just wanted to fight in June, and Vettori stepped up so props to him.
Izzy’s coach however was very confused with Whittaker’s decision, he said, “For me, it’s a very strange decision. If you give us the situation, or even if you take the last fight, we were going in with multiple injuries. There are certain things you just don’t turn down, don’t matter what.
He continued, “Don’t matter how much family you got waiting for you. Not trying to be insensitive towards his family and all of that, but there’s certain things in this sport, you reach a certain pinnacle that you’ve been reaching and you don’t give them away.”
“When you turn down an opportunity like that, just like we know — when you turn down an opportunity like that now you have to sit at the back of the list again,” Bareman concluded. “Now he goes into the pool again.”
“That was very unexpected for us,” Eugene Bareman was shocked with Robert Whittaker’s decision
Eugene said if they had to take this decision, they would’ve never missed it, he said, “That was very unexpected for us. If the shoes on the other foot, we’re fighting through — [Adesanya’s] arm’s falling off, all my guys, their arms are falling half off, we’re still fighting.
When it comes to the title, the decision gets made for you. You make whatever sacrifices are necessary. But Robert, he makes his own decisions, he was given the opportunity as I understand by the UFC, and I guess it’s gone to Vettori.”