What’s next for Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker after UFC 243?

Robert Whittaker Israel Adesanya, UFC 243
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

UFC 243 has come and gone and with it, a new middleweight champion has been crowned. In the main event, the middleweight title was on the line as champion, Robert Whittaker was taking on the interim champion in Israel Adesanya.

In the end, Israel Adesanya TKO’d Robert Whittaker in the second round to become the undisputed champion.

Here is what we think should be next for the two of them after UFC 243.

Israel Adesanya

The hype is real. Israel Adesanya is now the UFC’s middleweight champion and is 18-0 as a pro.

Although he has been on an impressive run so far in the UFC, there is still a bevy of contenders to fight, but Paulo Costa has to be next. The Brazilian knockout artist was Octagon-side at UFC 243 and even told BJPENN.com he has been promised the next title shot. Adesanya even called him out afterward to cement that.

The fight could be one of the biggest the UFC puts on next year and should take place in the first quarter of 2020 for Israel Adesanya’s first title defense.

Robert Whittaker

Robert Whittaker is back to the drawing board after losing his title. The Australian was looking to win for the home crowd and cement his legacy as one of the best middleweights of all time.

Now, there are several options for Whittaker like the Darren Till vs. Kelvin Gastelum winner or possibly Jack Hermansson who is coming off of a loss. But, the fight that makes the most sense could be a fight with Jared Cannonier.

The fight makes sense for a bunch of reasons. First, for Cannonier, a win over the former champion only secures he gets a title shot in his next fight. For Whittaker, a win over Cannonier could get him another title shot and possibly a rematch of Israel Adesanya.

Regardless, Robert Whittaker has options for his next fight. And, as he says, he is only 28-years-old and will be back.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/7/2019.