UFC president Dana White confirmed that Marvin Vettori could be next in line to fight UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
After beating Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24 last weekend for his third straight win, it was widely assumed that Robert Whittaker, the No. 1 contender at 185lbs, would be the next in line to fight Adesanya. However, while speaking on the Bill Simmons podcast, White said that the UFC is now looking at Vettori for the next title shot. The reason that’s the case is becuase the UFC is hoping Adesanya returns on June 12 at UFC 263. Right now, that event is headlined by UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno, so another title fight taking place on the card could be beneficial for PPV sales.
As noted by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Whittaker belives that a turnaround of less than two months after just beating Gastelum last weekend is too quick for him. If Whittaker decides that he doesn’t have enough time to train for that fight and be prepared, then the UFC has no problem with bringing in Vettori as the next opponent for Adesanya instead, White said.
Of note in this @BillSimmons interview with White: looking like like Vettori could be next for Adesanya.
Talks have centered around Adesanya returning June 12, I’m told. Original hope was Adesanya-Whittaker 2 on 6/12 but turnaround is too quick for RW. So MV is new frontrunner. https://t.co/RpM5FyHJzN
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 23, 2021
Of note in this @BillSimmons interview with White: looking like like Vettori could be next for Adesanya. Talks have centered around Adesanya returning June 12, I’m told. Original hope was Adesanya-Whittaker 2 on 6/12 but turnaround is too quick for RW. So MV is new frontrunner.
Vettori has been vocal about asking for a title shot with Adesanya after winning his last four fights, including back-to-back decision wins over Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland. Whittaker seemed to have a bit of a leg up since he’s the former champ and on a nice win streak, but Vettori is also deserving of having another shot to take out the former champ.
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