Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker is the next big fight in the middleweight division. The pair are set to rematch in a fight for the middleweight title with the date and venue for the fight yet to be announced. The fight was agreed upon, immediately after the commencement of UFC 263.
Soon after, Israel Adesanya beat Marvin Vettori in the main event of UFC 263, he called out Whittaker for a rematch. ‘Bobby Knuckles’ took to Twitter to agree to Adesanya’s offer. The only thing pending is official confirmation from the UFC, as the fight is bound to happen anyway.
In a recent interview with Daily Telegraph, Titus Day, Robert Whittaker’s manager claimed that the fight might not be taking place until early next year. He blamed it on the COVID restrictions in Australia and New Zealand, for the same.
‘Rob had been told he would be fighting at Madison Square Garden‘ – Titus Day on Israel Adesanya vs Robert Whittaker
Day was quoted as saying, “Rob had been told he would be fighting at Madison Square Garden. But there have been some issues since and it can’t happen. Apparently, Adesanya could get into America for the fight, but he wouldn’t have been able to get back to New Zealand immediately afterwards [due to travel restrictions].” [via MMA Fighting]
He continued, “So while we know the fight is going to happen, it’s now become a matter of when. Unfortunately, given everything going on with COVID in Australia and New Zealand at the moment, it may not be until early next year.” [via MMA Fighting]
The rematch between Adesanya and Whittaker was expected to take place at UFC 268 in Madison Square Garden, later this year in November. The pair previously met at UFC 243, in Australia, Whittaker’s own backyard. Adesanya won the fight via knockout in the second round of the fight that saw him win the middleweight championship.
Since beating Robert Whittaker, Adesanya has gone on to defend his middleweight title thrice. His first title defense was against Yoel Romero at UFC 248 in March 2020. Izzy won the fight via. unanimous decision. He then knocked out the dangerous Paulo Costa at UFC 253, before recently defending it via. unanimous decision against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263.
Whittaker, on the other hand, has had impressive wins over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum since losing his middleweight title to Adesanya.