On Saturday night at UFC 263, Israel Adesanya successfully defended his middleweight title with a dominant five-round performance over Marvin Vettori. Coming back from his first professional loss (up a weight class), Adesanya swept the scorecards for all three judges and reasserted himself as the man to beat at 185 pounds. But though Adesanya was pleased with his performance, there’s no rest for the middleweight champion, who immediately after defending his title, set up his next fight: a rematch with the man he took the belt from in the first place, Robert Whittaker.
“Well you know, the old mozzie, my arch-nemesis, that other c***, what’s his name?” Adesanya said in his Octagon Interview. “Whittaker. Bobby Knuckles. I knocked him out twice . . . I don’t know what the f*** is gonna happen with this whole COVID thing but we need to run that back in Auckland. We need to run that back in my territory this time. I’ll tell you when it is. You don’t get to decide, I get to decide – cause why? I’m the motherf***ing king, b****.”
Whittaker and Adesanya fought in 2019 at UFC 243 in Whittaker’s backyard of Melbourne, Australia, with Adesanya turning in the best performance of his career, knocking out Whittaker in the second round. Since then, Whittaker has been trying to fight his way to a rematch and so Whittaker was, of course, happy with this development, responding to the call out via Twitter shortly after the bout.
Since losing his title to Adesanya, Whittaker has rattled off three dominant performances in a row and was actually first in line to fight Adesanya at UFC 263. Unfortunately for Whittaker, his timeline did not match up with the UFC’s and Adesanya’s. Now though, that figures not to be an issue, and according to UFC President Dana White, the UFC is ready to move full steam ahead with their rematch, probably in the fall.
“That’s the thing I love about Adesanya,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “Adesanya, before this fight happened, maybe two or three days ago, we got the word that ‘I want to fight again in October.’ He hasn’t even fought yet and this kid is already talking about his next fight. I love that. Adesanya has become a very badass champion for us. So yeah, we’ll figure out him and Whittaker ASAP.”
Adesanya has been a workhorse for the UFC since winning the middleweight title, fighting on average once every five months. Unfortunately for Adesanya, that rate of activity will likely stunt his dream for the Whittaker rematch to take place in Auckland. Though White is fully on board for making the rematch, given the current state of COVID-19 restrictions in place in New Zealand, White essentially shot that location down.
“You’re talking about New Zealand or Australia?,” White said. “I would highly doubt it. That’s like asking if we can go to Canada in October. They’re pretty much in the same boat.”
While that’s not the outcome he would hope for, Adesanya understands the situation and the middleweight champion says that if it can’t happen in Auckland, he’s not trying to wait for that location. The opponent and the timeline is what matters most.
“I don’t wait around, you know me,” Adesanya told reporters in his post-fight press conference. “This is my third fight in nine months. I don’t wait around like the rest of these guys, the rest of these champions who talk about being active. I don’t talk about it, I just do it. I’m an active champion.
“I’m putting it out there into the universe, into the ether that I want it in Auckland but I don’t like too much free time, especially right now while I’m in my prime. So yeah, it could open Fight Island number three? Fight Island for a third time but if not, maybe back in America somewhere. But it would be so awesome if it was in Auckland and I could do it on my home turf.”
Results. Roberto Satoshi wins lightweight belt with 72-second submission at RIZIN 28.
Champion. Brandon Moreno explains emotional UFC 263 championship celebration, questions Deiveson Figueiredo’s weight cut.
UFC 263 Post-Fight Show
UFC 263 Post Fight Press Conference.
UFC 264 trailer.
Doctor discusses Jamahal Hill’s elbow injury.
Nate vs. Leon.
On To The Next One. Matches to make following UFC 263.
Severe MMA. Discussing UFC 263 and where things go from here.
It’s crazy to say that we use to be main training partners for each other back in the day. I’ve always known this man was special and I’m not surprise he has the belt a round his waist. Congratulations @theassassinbaby for becoming Mexico’s first UFC Champion. pic.twitter.com/C995ACHezb
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) June 13, 2021
The ref doesn’t suck I wasn’t tapping i was trying to stack but my arm wasn’t there lol I tried to knock him out quick but he just was the better fighter tonight!!! I’ve been dominate for 12 years tonight was my turn to lose!!!!
— Jamahal Hill (@JamahalH) June 13, 2021
— Jamahal Hill (@JamahalH) June 14, 2021
Paul Craig: King of the Hills.
Maia calling out Nate Diaz.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.