UFC president Dana White hinted that Robert Whittaker will have to fight again, saying “I don’t think he’s going to get a title shot next.”
After beating Jared Cannonier at UFC 254, most figured that the UFC matchmakers would look to book a rematch between Whittaker and UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, the man who took his title back at UFC 243. Instead, Adesanya is moving up to fight UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in March. That leaves Whittaker in a tough position because he’s done enough to earn a rematch against Adesanya, but at the same time, the champ may not return to 185lbs.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the UFC middleweight title at the moment, White isn’t going to commit to Whittaker getting the next title shot, even though he’s the No. 1 contender in the weight class. Instead, White is now suggesting that Whittaker will be booked for another fight in the meantime due to Adesanya moving up in weight. Speaking to ESPN+ subscribers in a recent Q&A, White said that while there’s nothing set in stone, he doesn’t think Whittaker will be fighting for a title.
“I don’t think he’s going to get a title shot next. He’ll have to fight somebody else first. It’s going to depend on what happens with Israel and Jan. We’ll see what happens,” White said (h/t MMAjunkie.com).
After beating Cannonier, Whittaker told reporters that he wanted to take some time off and wasn’t in a rush to get a title shot. When that happened, White went ahead and got Adesanya the Blachowicz fight done instead. Whittaker, though, has said on numerous occasions that he wanted the title shot and that it was more a timeline issue. It looks like not being eager enough for White will come back to haunt Whittaker in regards to a title shot, as he will likely have to earn it with another win.
Do you think Dana White should have given Robert Whittaker the title shot against Israel Adesanya before he moved up to fight Jan Blachowicz?