Israel Adesanya Calls for Robert Whittaker Rematch in New Zealand

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It’s usually the challengers that call out the champions after picking up big wins in the UFC. On Saturday night though, it was the champ that called out his number one contender, doing so even if he had already beaten that challenger before.

Israel Adesanya, fresh off another successful middleweight title defense against Marvin Vettori, called out no. 1 contender Robert Whittaker for a rematch during his post-fight Octagon interview with Joe Rogan:

“That other c–t, what’s his name? Rob Whittaker, Bobby Knuckles. I knocked him out twice … I don’t know what the f–k is going to happen with this whole COVID s–t. But we need to run that back in Auckland. We need to run that back in my territory this time. I’ll tell you when it is. You don’t get to decide. I get to decide. Cause why? I’m the motherf—ing king, b—h.”

Whitaker Called for September Rematch in Australia

It can be recalled that Whitaker politely called for a rematch against Adesanya after beating Kelvin Gastelum last April. During his post-fight interview, Bobby Knuckles said that it was about time that they crossed paths again and it would be great to do it in front of a packed stadium in Australia when the borders open up in September. Obviously, Izzy doesn’t want him calling the shots.

Actually, the Vettori fight was supposed to be Whitaker’s. But the Australian Reaper turned down the title shot because fighting at UFC 263 wouldn’t give him enough time to heal up and prepare, considering the quarantine procedures going to and from Australia after the Gastelum fight last April 17th.

Whittaker lost the UFC middleweight championship to Adesanya via second-round knockout at UFC 243 in October 2019. Since then, the Reaper has picked up solid wins over Top 6 contenders Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Gastelum to become the no. 1 contender in the division.

Adesanya Left No Doubt

Adesanya meanwhile, left no doubt at UFC 263. He entered the fight as a sizeable betting favorite at the best UFC betting sites but because Vettori was hyped as the fighter who had come closest to beating the Last Stylebender in the UFC, there was still plenty of interest in Saturday night’s main event. Adesanya quashed any hopes of an upset.

While Vettori tried the Jan Blachowicz blueprint of taking Izzy down to the ground, the Italian was not successful. Sure, Vettori completed four takedowns but he wasn’t able to do any damage on the ground and Adesanya was quick to get up in all instances. Worse for the Italian Dream, Adesanya stuffed 10 other takedown attempts and kept the fight on the feet where he had the supreme advantage.

The Last Stylebender chopped away at Vettori’s legs with kicks all fight long and that was the key to the fight.

With Vettori having to think about his leg, Adesanya took advantage and used his striking to pepper him with strikes. The champ outlanded the challenger 96-58 in significant strikes and 122 to 91 in total strikes landed. While he wasn’t able to hurt Vettori seriously, the same can be said the other way around and it was clear that Adesanya was the one who was dictating the fight.

Steve Richardson

Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more! ...

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