UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya looks set to defend his title of the No.1 contender bout between Robert Whittaker and Dricus du Plessis next, and while he’s willing to fight ‘The Reaper’ for a third time, he would prefer to face a new rival in ‘Stillknocks’, who he’s had a war of words with recently.
In fact, Adesanya has revealed that he actually asked the UFC to let him fight Du Plessis next, but claims they turned the idea down in favor of this title eliminator bout.
“I tried to do Du Plessis in the f****** Death Star [Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas],” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “I tried. Maybe not International Fight Week because it was already booked, but I tried it later on. I was like, ‘F*** it, give him to me. It’s already there. What’s the point? Why wait?’”
So, now he will wait to see who emerges victorious between the two, and as much as he wants to fight du Plessis, Adesanya has a feeling it will be Whittaker who emerges with his hand raised.
“F***, I just [realized] it is three rounds. Percentage? I say Rob can probably finish him.
“I’d say Rob can probably get him out of there in the second round, or just beat him up for three rounds. Dricus’ only chance — I don’t like to say there’s no way, because there’s aways a way, but he can’t outlast Rob. I think Rob will be faster than him, fitter than him, so he might just have to make it ugly. But Rob can also fight ugly as well, so we’ll se. Honestly, 70 [percent chance Whittaker wins], but I really want Dricus.”
Adesanya is all too familiar with Whittaker, having defeated him by KO to win and unify the middleweight title in 2019, while he also successfully defended his title against him on the scorecards last year, but nonetheless he’s still open to squaring up to him for a third time.
“No [it doesn’t bother me],” Whittaker said of fighting someone he’s already beaten twice. “I think there’s another story there. It’s in a new city in Australia, another stadium, I’m sure. … This one, it will be a nice day. I like it in Sydney. It will be a sunshine-y day.”