Israel Adesanya is ready to compete for a UFC middleweight title. Over the weekend (Sat. February 9, 2019) “Stylebender” picked up a unanimous decision victory over former 185-pound king Anderson Silva. The pair main evented UFC 234 on pay-per-view (PPV). Initially, a middleweight title bout was scheduled to headline the card. Robert Whittaker was locked in to defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum.
Unfortunately, Whittaker was hospitalized the morning of the event and underwent emergency surgery. Now, there seems to be a three-man power struggle for the next title fight. Gastelum seems to have declared himself the new 185-pound champion of the UFC after Whittaker’s injury. Also, Adesanya doesn’t want to wait around and fight for an interim title.
Speaking to Luke Thomas on “The MMA Hour” recently, Adesanya was asked about a possible interim title bout with Gastelum. The Nigerian believes Whittaker should be stripped of his title and can return as the No. 1-contender when he’s healthy (via Bloody Elbow):
“Why interim?” Adesanya asked. “This is not the first time this has happened. It’s not his control, like I said it’s in the control of player one, but I don’t know what his training is like, I look after myself, I don’t know what causes hernias.
“I don’t know what causes it exactly, but I look after myself. I show up. This is not the first time he had to pull out due to injury or something like that. Dominick Cruz, eventually he got stripped.
“I think Rob will just get stripped. When he gets healthy, he can be a number one contender. So me and Kelvin fight for the real belt. F—k the interim. So strip Rob, we fight for the real belt, when he’s healthy he can come see me.”
Do you think Whittaker should be stripped of the middleweight title?