Israel Adesanya is optimistic that he will face Robert Whittaker once more in the near future.
Adesanya was able to successfully recapture his middleweight title at UFC 287 by knocking out his longstanding adversary Alex Pereira in the second round of their fight. After the fight, Pereira stated that he planned to go up to 205 pounds, therefore ending any possibility of a trilogy match between the two fighters and left Adesanya without a clear choice for his subsequent title challenger. Adesanya had one opponent in mind that he wanted to fight, and that was Dricus du Plessis, who is ranked eighth among middleweights by MMA Fighting. However, “The Last Stylebender” disclosed on his YouTube channel that the UFC decided not to pursue that option.
Adesanya stated, “I tried to do Du Plessis in the f****** Death Star [Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas],” and he laughed. “I attempted. It wasn’t going to work out for International Fight Week because the venue was full, so I gave it another shot later on. The thought crossed my mind, “F*** it, give him to me.” It has already been completed. Where is the value in that? Why wait?'”
Adesanya has a personal interest in fighting du Plessis and wants to do so. After UFC 287, the middleweight champion responded to comments made by the du Plessis about being “the African fighting in the UFC” by stating that he would “gladly drag his carcass across South Africa.” He stated that he would “drag his carcass across South Africa with pride.” However, in order for Adesanya to finally put a stop to that conflict, he will first need to show his support for du Plessis, who will be competing against Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 in July. This fight has already been designated as a clash between the top two contenders for the title. And Adesanya is not optimistic about his prospects.
“This is the game we play,” Adesanya stated. “F***, I just now [learned] that there are three rounds. Percentage? I believe Rob is more than capable of beating him.
I’d think Rob has a good chance of knocking him out in the second round, or he could just beat him up for the full three rounds. ” The only chance Dricus has — and I don’t like to say there’s no way, because there’s always a way — is that he can outlive Rob. But I doubt that will happen. I believe Rob will be quicker than him and fitter than him, so it sounds like he might have to resort to making things unpleasant. However, Rob is capable of fighting dirty as well, so we shall see. Sincerely, there is a seventy percent likelihood that Whittaker will win, but I’m pulling for Dricus.
Adesanya has a personal grudge against du Plessis, but he also wants to fight him since it would be a different opponent for him. “The Last Stylebender” already has two victories over Whittaker, the most notable of which was snatching the title away from Whittaker at UFC 243 in Melbourne, Australia, which was held in Whittaker’s home country of Australia.
Adesanya is now preparing to defend his championship at the UFC 293 card in September, which is scheduled to take place in Sydney, and so if Whittaker wins and is ready for a quick turnaround, the champion says he is happy to give Whittaker home field advantage one more time. The fight is scheduled to take place in Australia.
Whittaker responded, “No, [it doesn’t bother me],” when asked about it. “In that regard, I believe there’s another tale. It’s in a new city in Australia, and I’m quite sure it’s at another stadium…. This particular one, it is going to be a lovely day. I like it in Sydney. It’s going to be a bright and sunny day.”