Expected to make his first attempted defense of his second reign as undisputed middleweight champion against either former champion, Robert Whittaker, or Dricus du Plessis – defending gold holder, Israel Adesanya welcomes a third fight with the former, as well as a turnaround in September at UFC 293 ‘Down Under’.
Adesanya, the newly minted undisputed middleweight champion, managed to land the division crown for the second time during his tenure with the promotion, landing a stunning second round KO win over Brazilian rival and former champion, Alex Pereira at UFC 287 back in April of this year.
Twice previously sharing the Octagon with Whittaker back in 2019, and in February of last year, Adesanya holds both knockout and decision wins over the former division kingpin, respectively.
Israel Adesanya open to trilogy title fight with Robert Whittaker at UFC 293
And with the Octagon slated to return to Sydney, Australia on September 10. next – Adesanya, who has been earmarked to headline the pay-per-view return to the region, expects Whittaker to take out du Plessis in their International Fight Week title-eliminator.
“I’d say Rob (Robert Whittaker) can probably get him (Dricus du Plessis) out of there in the second round, or just beat him up for three rounds,” Israel Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “Dricus’ only chance – I don’t like to say there’s no way, because there’s always a way, but he can’t outlast Rob. I think Rob will be faster than him, fitter than him, so he might just have to make it ugly. But Rob can also fight ugly as well, so we’ll see. …but I really want Dricus [next].”
As for a turnaround against Whittaker potentially as soon as September at UFC 293, Adesanya admits that he is wholly open to the possibility of rekindling their fight series.
“No [it doesn’t bother me],” Israel Adesanya said of a third fight with Robert Whittaker. “I think there’s another story there. It’s in a new city in Australia, another stadium, I’m sure. …This one, it will be a nice day. I like it in Syndye. It will be a sunshine-y day.” (Transcribed by MMA Fighting)