Dana White says Adesanya vs Whittaker 2 planned for January

adesanya vs whittaker 2
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

Adesanya vs Whittaker 2, the long-awaited rematch between the two best middleweight fighters on planet earth, is in the works for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s planned pay-per-view card in January.

As Robert Whittaker (23-5) has reclimbed his way back into title contention, fans and media have clamored for the former middleweight king to get a second crack at current division titleholder Israel Adesanya (21-1). In a Friday interview with Australian news outlet the Daily Telegraph [h/t BJPenn.com], UFC President Dana White confirmed that the rematch is finally being worked on with a date in January likely. However, the second go-around will not be a run back in the land down under.

UFC plans to have Adesanya vs Whittaker 2 take place in January

“That’s a fight we want to make, so we’re working on it. I will get that done,” White said. “You know what sucks? With everything that’s going on right now, when you think about that fight, that fight should be done over there [in Australia]. But that ain’t gonna happen. … We’re working on January.”

The pair packed Marvel Stadium in Australia with nearly 60,000 fans for their UFC 243 title unification bout two years ago. Adesanya won on that night by second-round knockout and handed “Reaper” his first loss in five years.

Many were surprised that in a time when the UFC often books immediate title rematches — as they have for three straight flyweight title bouts between Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figuiredo — that they did not give the former champion a chance at a rapid response. Instead, Whittaker, 30, was placed into three straight bouts against top-10 middleweights. He was victorious in every one of those scraps against Jared Cannonier, Darren Till, and Kelvin Gastelum. Proclaiming himself the undisputed top contender for “The Last Stylebender.”

Dana White expects Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker rivalry to get hotter soon

adesanya vs whittaker 2
Oct 5, 2019; Melbourne, AUSTRALIA; Israel Adesanya (blue gloves) and Robert Whittaker (red gloves) during UFC 243 at Marvel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports

What has made this bout so interesting to fans is the legitimate dislike between the two. It started in the lead-up to the first fight and has only intensified since, with Whittaker calling the resident of New Zealand a “sh*t person” in an interview over the summer.

White was asked about the heated rivalry and explained it was just a natural occurrence when you have elite talents in the same division, the same part of the world, and hoping to be the top fighter in their class. He only expects the heat on the hate to be turned up in the coming months.

“Well it’s inevitable when you have two badass dudes who are from the same part of the world, and they’re in the same weight class, and want to rule their areas, it’s how this thing usually plays out,” he said. “I think the longer we wait to get this fight on again, the more things are gonna be said, and the more animosity and dislike is gonna built over the next several months.”

The bout will likely be the headlining fight for the promotion’s UFC 270 PPV card in January. No location or venue has been made official for the event.

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