Reigning UFC middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya is expected to defend his 185-pound strap against former division champion Robert Whittaker at the promotion’s upcoming pay-per-view (PPV) event in January 2022.
Any fight involving athletes from Australia or New Zealand will prove to be a logistical challenge, thanks to the tight restrictions in place for COVID-19. But UFC President Dana White is confident he can a deal done over the next couple of months.
“That’s a fight we want to make, so we’re working on it,” White told The Daily Telegraph. “I will get that done. That’s what we’re working on, we’re working on January. 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, but that ain’t going to happen. Listen, I don’t like to be all cocky and shit, but we will do everything in our power to get that stuff worked out.”
Since capturing a second-round finish over Whittaker at UFC 243, Adesanya (21-1) has registered three successful title defenses, wrapped around a loss to Jan Blachowicz in his unsuccessful bid to join the “champ champ” club earlier this year.
Whittaker (23-5) punched his ticket to another middleweight title fight by turning away veteran bruiser Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24 last April in Las Vegas, his third straight victory since coughing up the crown to “The Last Stylebender.”
See you in January ... hopefully.