While it could easily be concluded that Robert Whittaker is at the bottom of the list of potential wishes of Israel Adesanya and his team regarding the next challenger, this rematch the UFC middleweight champion will still not be able to avoid.
What was previously announced by the UFC should now receive its confirmation. In fact, it came from Robert Whittaker. Whittaker posted a photo on his Facebook with a comment that there are 11 weeks left until the fight. After that, it is easy to conclude that the fight against Adesanya will take place on a date that has been speculated about for some time.
It's February 12 next year, when UFC 271 is scheduled to take place. This has not yet been confirmed by the UFC, nor has the venue, but Whittaker should be a very relevant source for us. The first fight of this duo, in which Whittaker entered as the first one, and Adesanya as the interim champion, took place in October 2019.
Adesanya recorded a victory with a stoppage in the second round at the expense of excellent movement, choice of distance, and avoidance of Whittaker's shots. But it is clear that Robert had rather bad tactics along the way, and later admitted that he was not even mentally fully in the fight.
Nevertheless, in spite of everything, Adesanya showed quality and how great a fighter he was, and in the end, he deservedly celebrated Whittaker won his chance to return to the throne through three victories since he lost his belt.
He defeated Kelvin Gastelum, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum and firmly took the position of the first challenger, which no one can dispute. Adesanya defended the title three times after their fight, defeating Yoel Romero, Paul Costa, and Marvin Vettori, and in the meantime, he unsuccessfully attacked the light heavyweight title.
The defeat inflicted on him by Jan Blachowicz at the time is the only one in his professional MMA career so far. Thus, Whittaker will have an additional motive to take revenge on Adesanya for the defeat from two years ago and to show how much he has progressed physically and mentally.
This time, the tactics will certainly look a little different than we are used to, but Whittaker is a different fighter than before. He will try to use the opportunity that he got, but he is aware of the quality of Adesanya and how careful he must be.