Team Robert Whittaker has requested a title rematch with UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya after the Paulo Costa fight fell apart.
Whittaker was set to fight Costa in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card on April 17, with the winner of that fight likely set to fight Adesanya for the belt. However, Costa was forced to pull out of the fight due to illness, which leaves Whittaker without an opponent. But if the Aussie’s team has their way, then they’ll be next for Adesanya either way.
According to Sporting News, Team Whittaker has requested a rematch with Adesanya. With Adesanya recently losing to UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in a failed bid at moving up in weight and winning a second UFC title, he’s set to return back down to 185lbs and defend his belt again. A rematch with Whittaker, who Adesanya originally defeated to win the title back at UFC 243 in October 2019, makes a lot of sense.
Since losing to Adesanya, Whittaker has bounced back with wins over Jared Cannonier and Darren Till to secure his spot as the No. 1 contender at 185lbs. The winner of the fight with Costa was widely expected to earn the rematch, but now that Costa is out of the fight, that won’t happen. Either the UFC gives Whittaker the title shot, or they book him against someone else in the top-10, though there aren’t many fighters available at the moment.
The other fighters that could be in line to fight for the belt are Marvin Vettori and the aforementioned Till, who meet on April 10 in a UFC Fight Night card. With that fight being less than a month away, it’s possible the UFC could wait to see what happens in that matchup before committing to the rematch between Adesanya and Whittaker.
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