UFC 234, which goes down this weekend in Melbourne, Australia, will be headlined by a middleweight title fight between champ Robert Whittaker and challenger Kelvin Gastelum, and co-headlined by a middleweight contender bout between former champ Anderson Silva and rising star Israel Adesanya. The card sold out almost immediately.
That, New Zealand’s Israel Adesanya, is because of him — not because of the Australian champion Robert Whittaker.
”This show wouldn’t have sold out the way it did without me and Anderson, so he’s [Whittaker] welcome. He gets the pay-per-view points, he gets the accolades and what not. And yeah, good for him, he knows what’s up, even he knows it. So he can enjoy it for the next 10 years.”
Interestingly, Israel Adesanya seems to be targeting a New Zealand vs. Australia showdown with Robert Whittaker. He’s hoping they both win big this weekend — which would certainly seem to pave the way to the fight.
“I’ll just tell you one thing, when I had my meeting with Dana [White] — I was supposed to have one last weekend with the ESPN [Brooklyn] card as well — but I sat with Dana two months ago, hashed it out with him and told him what the go [was], and now everything is falling into place exactly as I planned it.
“Let’s just say I want Robert to win this fight [against Gastelum], I really want Robert to win this fight and I feel like I’m going to win this fight [against Silva]. So I’ll just leave it at that.”
Do you think we’ll see Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya fight this year?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/5/2019.