Dana White is hoping to kick 2022 off with a bang.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, White said the plan is to have UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) run things back with former champion Robert Whittaker (23-5 MMA, 14-3 UFC) in January.

Due to the strict COVID-19 restrictions in both New Zealand and Australia, it’s been difficult for the highly anticipated rematch to come to fruition, but White is confident he’ll get the fight done in the beginning of next year.

“That’s a fight we want to make, so we’re working on it,” White said. “I will get that done. That’s what we’re working on – we’re working on January.”

White admitted he would have loved for the rematch between Adesanya and Whittaker to take place in the Australasia region just like their first fight at UFC 243 did, but that won’t be the case.

“You know what sucks? With everything that’s going on right now, when you think about that fight, that fight should be done over there (in Australia or New Zealand). But that ain’t going to happen.

“Listen, I don’t like to be all cocky and sh*t, but we will do everything in our power to get that stuff worked out.”


After capturing the interim UFC middleweight title in a classic battle against Kelvin Gastelum, Adesanya unified the belts with then undisputed champ Whittaker in arguably the most flawless performance of his career. Since then, “The Last Stylebender” has defended his belt three times. His lone career setback came in a failed bid to become dual-champ against UFC light heavyweight titleholder Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259.

Whittaker has bounced back from his loss to Adesanya in emphatic fashion. He eliminated top contenders Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Gastelum from the title race to work his way back to a rematch with Adesanya.


Twitter reacts to Robert Whittaker’s win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC on ESPN 22


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