UFC 263: Dana White says Adesanya vs Whittaker II will be worked on ‘ASAP’

Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker takes on interim champ Israel Adesanya in the headliner of UFC 243. Robert Whittaker Israel Adesanya Ufc 243 Official Weigh Ins

A rematch between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker has been a fight mixed martial arts fans and industry media have been calling for over the last year. The division king also called for it last night after a successful title defense at UFC 263. Fans, media, and the champ may all get what they want based on what Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White had to say during last night’s post-event press conference.

Following a dominant victory in his title fight rematch against Marvin Vettori, Adesanya made it clear he had his crosshairs set on his championship predecessor. Calling for a fight between the two next, and this time in his home country of New Zealand. Saying, “I don’t know what the f*cks gonna happen with this whole COVID sh*t, but we need to run that back in Auckland. We need to run that back in my territory this time.”

Adesanya vs Whittaker II could happen in October

The UFC boss was asked at the pay-per-view event post-show press conference about the possibility of a long-awaited rematch between the top two middleweights in the promotion. White gave reason to believe that something could materialize in the fall, since “The Last Stylebender” was plotting out his Octagon return even before he competed in it last night.

“That’s the other thing I love about Adesanya. Before this fight happened, maybe two or three days ago, we got word [he wants] to fight in October. He hadn’t even fought yet and this kid is already talking about his next fight,” White said to the assembled media. “I love that. Adesanya has become a very badass champion for us. So yea, we’ll figure out him and Whittaker ASAP.”

The top decision-maker in the UFC was then asked about the chance of it happening in Auckland, New Zealand as the 31-year-old proposed. On that however, he seemed far less confident about.

“I don’t know. If you’re talking about New Zealand or Australia, I would highly doubt it,” White said. “That’s like asking if we can go to Canada in October. They’re pretty much in the same boat.”

adesanya vs whittaker II
Oct 5, 2019; Melbourne, AUSTRALIA; Israel Adesanya (blue gloves) defeats Robert Whittaker (red gloves) during UFC 243 at Marvel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports

Adesanya and Whittaker fought in 2019 at UFC 243, in front of 57,000 fans in Melbourne, Australia’s Marvel Stadium. It was the night Adesanya became the undisputed champion of the division by way of a destructive second-round technical knockout. The victory brought an end to “The Reaper’s” two-year run as middleweight champion. Since then, the Aussie has won three straight over top-10 ranked fighters in Kelvin Gastelum, Jared Cannonier, and Darren Till, and secured the number one ranking in the division.

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