Robert Whittaker wants to see the Middleweight division move forward with fresh match ups in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Former two-time titleholder, Israel Adesanya, suffered his second career mixed martial arts (MMA) loss at 185 pounds when taking on Sean Strickland at UFC 293 this past weekend (Sept. 9, 2023). Despite Strickland’s one-sided unanimous decision victory (watch highlights), Adesanya appears to be the frontrunner as Strickland’s first title defense.
Nevertheless, with new options like Dricus Du Plessis and the winner of Paulo Costa vs. Khamzat Chimaev waiting in the wings, Whittaker doesn’t feel Adesanya deserves (another) instant rematch.
"Let's take fair out of the equation," Whittaker laughed on The MMA Hour. "Life isn't fair, right? But I think it's silly if 'Izzy' gets an immediate rematch because this isn't his first loss as champion. Technically he didn't defend the belt again. He lost to [Alex] Pereira, got the belt back, and then lost it again. And you have the you have to ask like is your idea just to keep letting him have rematches when he loses? Like, relax. That's the fight game. It puts the UFC in a tricky position because 'Izzy's' kind of there — one of the premier guys. He's one of the poster boys, but yeah, I think he's got some work to do, you know?"
Adesanya reclaimed the Middleweight crown with a spectacular second round knockout of Pereira at UFC 287 this past April 2023 (watch highlights). “The Last Stylebender” has been quiet since his recent defeat, leaving his next plans up in the air.
As for Whittaker, he hopes to fight again around the end of 2023 after suffering a tough second round technical knockout loss to the aforementioned Du Plessis at UFC 290 in July 2023 (watch highlights).
For complete UFC 293 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.