One of the most highly anticipated UFC title fights in the promotion finally has a date. MMA Fighting reported earlier today that the promotion is zeroing in on an event for the rematch between middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (20-1) and former champion Robert Whittaker (23-5).
The event is being targeted for UFC 272 which will take place Super Bowl weekend on February 12th. Originally, the fight was being rumored for the January PPV, however, once the promotion finalized the heavyweight title fight between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane, they planned to move this matchup back.
They wanted Adesanya and Whittaker to headline and they will do that at UFC 272. Adesanya will be looking to defend his title for the fourth time since defeating Whittaker back at UFC 243. Stylebender entered that matchup with Whittaker as the interim champion so he considers that fight to be his first title defense.
Overall, Adesanya is just 1-1 in his last two after suffering his first career loss at UFC 259. Stylebender moved up to try and become a two-division champion and lost to Jan Blachowicz. He bounced back at UFC 263 with a successful middleweight title defense over Marvin Vettori.
Can Whittaker become a two-time UFC champion?
Normally when you have a top-level UFC champion, they get a rematch pretty quickly after losing their title. However, this wasn’t the case with Robert Whittaker. Bobby Knuckles has had to climb his way back up to the title after the first loss to Adesanya.
Since that fight, Adesanya has targeted a few top contenders like Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. However, for those two to get to Adesanya, they needed to defeat Robert Whittaker. Neither man was able to do that.
The former UFC champion has won three times since their first fight. He’s defeated Kelvin Gastelum, Cannonier, and Till since losing the belt. He’s looked better and better each time out and he looks like he’s going to really test Adesanya in this rematch.