Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) used the UFC 269 pay-per-view (PPV) broadcast to announce the blockbuster showdown between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker, a five-round middleweight rematch that headlines the upcoming UFC 271 fight card in February.
Adesanya captured the title by stopping Whittaker at UFC 243 back in late 2019.
Unfortunately for the promotion, “The Last Stylebender” torpedoed the announcement with a Twitter reply that suggested the booking was not yet finalized, so reporters asked UFC President Dana White if the bout was in fact bagged and tagged for Houston.
“Why would we lie?” White told reporters at the UFC 269 post-fight press conference. “When have we ever fucking lied? This fight’s coming up, we lied about it? Twenty fucking years, have we ever lied about making a fight? Some fights are harder to make than others, but I don’t think we’ve ever lied about making a fight. Why would we lie about that fight?”
This isn’t the first time the Adesanya team has hinted at the Whittaker fight not coming to fruition. Just last month, City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman suggested “The Reaper” was looking to make noise on Twitter ... and not much else.
White believes it’s the other way around.
“Listen, if he doesn’t want to fight Whittaker, okay, then I guess we’ll find another fight,” White continued (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “Who gives a shit? I definitely don’t give a shit. You don’t want the Whittaker fight to be on? Okay, then find something else.”
“My head’s still all fucked up from Adesanya,” White said after his rant.
UFC 271 is less than two months away which means Adesanya and Whittaker should both be in camp by now — or at least within the next two weeks. Perhaps “The Last Stylebender” is pulling off another one of his many troll jobs, or the promotion jumped the gun with last weekend’s announcement.
We’ll find out sooner, rather than later.