Dana White: Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya rematch ‘very appealing’ after UFC 254


ABU DHABI – UFC president Dana White is keen on the idea of a rematch between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya after UFC 254.

Coming into Saturday’s co-main event at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, the primary storyline revolved around Jared Cannonier (13-5 MMA, 6-5 UFC) getting a title shot against reigning middleweight king Adesanya (20-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC) if he won. Whittaker (22-5 MMA, 13-3 UFC) had other plans, though, and took a unanimous decision.

Whittaker has now won back-to-back fights against Cannonier and Darren Till since he dropped the 185-pound title to Adesanya at UFC 243 in October 2019. In that fight, he was dropped twice and lost by second-round TKO.

Although there hasn’t been much time since the first encounter, White said he’s captivated by the idea of a rematch.

“It’s very appealing to me,” White told reporters, including MMA Junkie, post-fight at UFC 254. “It’s the fight that makes sense right now. Adesanya has a lot of options right now, but the fight that makes the most sense right now is Whittaker. I thought Cannonier was going to be a much tougher challenge for him. (Whittaker) looked good tonight, so the Adesanya rematch makes sense.”

Even prior to UFC 254, White didn’t rule out the possibility of a second fight between Whittaker and Adesanya. He cited the significant pay-per-view and revenue numbers in the Oceanic region going into the first fight and sees upside there in a second matchup.

Whittaker said he’s on board to run it back, as well, but he’s not going to press for it.

“I do want to fight him one day,” Whittaker said. “My whole mentality in this game is you line them up and I’ll knock them down. I’m pretty good at that.”

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