The world may have to wait a while before bearing witness to Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker 2.
At UFC 243 in 2019, Israel Adesanya became the undisputed UFC middleweight champion and the first man to lay The Reaper to rest by KO. The victory took place in front of over 57,000 screaming fans in Australia, setting the UFC attendance record in the process.
Since that night, both Adesanya and Whittaker have demonstrated an ability to rise above their roadblocks. Whittaker pulled himself up by the bootstraps and has won three consecutive fights against some of the division’s best: Darren Till; Jared Cannonier; and, most recently, Kelvin Gastelum.
For Adesanya, his bounce-back moment was reminding the world that he’s still the middleweight king after suffering his first loss to Jan Blachowicz in a bid to become a double champion at light heavyweight. In his next fight, the Kiwi made light work of Marvin Vettori in a cruise to a unanimous decision victory.
After that win, Adesanya had a vision in mind for where the sequel to his fight with Whittaker should take place, and he shared it with the world during his Octagon interview.
In an interview with Daily Telegraph, Whittaker’s manager, Titus Day, revealed that the targeted destination for the fight was actually UFC 268 in Madison Square Garden in November. However, due to traveling complications brought about by COVID-19, the fight might be pushed back into the new year.
“Rob had been told he would be fighting at Madison Square Garden,” Day revealed. “But there have been some issues since and it can’t happen. Apparently, Adesanya could get into America for the fight, but he wouldn’t have been able to get back to NZ immediately afterwards (because of quarantine restrictions). So while we know the fight is going to happen, it’s now become a matter of when. Unfortunately, given everything going on with Covid in Australia and New Zealand at the moment, it may not be until early next year.”
By the time the fight and connected flights are able to be properly booked, perhaps the world will be in order enough to bring Adesanya’s vision to life and hold the event in Auckland, New Zealand. One thing we can tell you for certain is that when the particulars have been ironed out and this rematch has its home, we’ll bring you the scoop in a hurry right here at MMANews.com.