UFC Middleweight Champions Israel Adesanya to Return Close to Home for Next Title Defense
After a thunderous victory over Alex Pereira in their rematch UFC middleweight title fight, Israel Adesanya has returned to his place among the upper-echelon of mixed martial arts stars. The triumph cements him in the top five of the men’s pound-for-pound rankings, alongside Islam Makhachev, Jon Jones, Leon Edwards, and Alexander Volkanovski.
Of course, after such an exciting win for “The Last Stylebender,” fans are clamoring to know when he’ll next be battling in the Octagon. There’s good news on the horizon for the followers of the Nigerian-Kiwi as Dana White has announced that Adesanya will fight once the eliminator has been completed, with the target being a date Down Under.
Adesanya to battle in Australia this year
Despite living in New Zealand for most of his life, Israel Adesanya has struggled to form a bond with much of the local media. He’ll still do local radio shows with stations like The Rock as, in his words, they give him “a fair shake,” but the lack of coverage of his UFC successes does seem to grate the champion.
This doesn’t stop hardcore Kiwi fans of MMA from backing him with all they’ve got and betting on his triumphs throughout his 24-2 career in the Octagon. While not rugby or cricket, MMA still commands a strong following in NZ, with some of the credit certainly owed to Adesanya. Bettors go to platforms like https://lordofodds.co.nz/ for the leading offers and betting odds, and will likely be looking to the eliminator odds of Whittaker at 1.29 and Du Plessis at 3.5 to try to determine who their compatriot will face next.
Those who do back him in each fight will be happy to find out that Adesanya’s coming Down Under for his next fight, but not quite to the right enough to enjoy a total homecoming. Instead, Dana White has said, as relayed by https://www.stuff.co.nz/, that they’re aiming for a date in Sydney, Australia. First of all, the Kiwi-raised fighter needs to wait and see who his opponent will be.
Battling for a shot at Adesanya’s title
Put another one together last night!!! @robwhittakermma @dricusduplessis #UFC290 pic.twitter.com/bczWzJo4b6— danawhite (@danawhite) April 21, 2023
At UFC 290 on July 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada, second-ranked middleweight contender Robert Whittaker will take on surging, sixth-ranked South African Dricus du Plessis. Since transitioning from EFC and KSW, Du Plessis has been on a tear in the UFC, winning all five of his fight, which includes a face crank submission of Darren Till.
Whittaker, on the other hand, will be looking to secure his third meet with Adesanya in four years. At UFC 243 and UFC 271, Adesanya outclassed the Aussie, winning by punches in the second round of their first meet and by decision a little over two years later. Now 24-6, since 2015, the only two losses of his 13 UFC fights have come against Adesanya.
Coming to Whittaker’s home country for the trilogy doesn’t look to be Adesanya’s preference, however. Outlet https://www.lowkickmma.com/ reports the Nigerian-Kiwi as asking Du Plessis to “please win” at UFC 290. Already looking ahead after the triumph at UFC 287, he goaded the South African with a threat while also urging him to keep winning and meet him in the next match.
In July, we’ll find out exactly who Adesanya will have to defend his title against next, and shortly after, the hope is that a date in Sydney will be confirmed by the UFC.