The UFC middleweight championship rematch between reigning division kingpin, Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya, and former titleholder, Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker has reportedly been delayed further from a tentatively targeted UFC 270 landing pad in January.
According to reports from Combate reporter, Raphael Marinho, the middleweight title rematch between the two is now likely to take place at UFC 271 the following month, on February 12.
UFC president, Dana White initially outlined January for the middleweight title rematch between Adesanya and Whittaker, with the ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions in New Zealand and Australia putting the kibosh on a potential November showdown at UFC 268 next month.
As a result of the reshuffling, the promotion has since subsequently penned their first pay-per-view event headliner of the year, matching heavyweight champions, brief former training partners, Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane for the UFC 270 flagship event.
Undefeated in his last three title defenses following a September 2019 second round knockout win over the aforenoted, Whittaker to unify the belts, Adesanya has since dispatched the trio of Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, and Marvin Vettori to successfully defend the middleweight crown.
Suffering his first professional mixed martial arts loss back in March, Adesanya made his light heavyweight debut — challenging upcoming UFC 267 titleholder, Jan Blachowicz for gold. Dropping a unanimous decision defeat to the Polish veteran, Adesanya saw his perfect run of 20 straight victories halted.
For Whittaker, the fan favorite former champion has rebounded from his second round knockout loss to Adesanya in spectacular fashion — recapturing form which first led him to Octagon gold.
The Auckland-born kickboxer has enjoyed a three-fight winning spree, taking a trio of impressive unanimous decision wins over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and most recently, common-opposition, Kelvin Gastelum.
At the time of publication, the promotion are still expected to field a recently booked potential title-eliminator between the above mentioned, Cannonier and Derek Brunson for UFC 270 in January, while one-time undisputed title chasers, Costa and Vettori are slated to headline an upcoming UFC Vegas 41 event in two week’s time.
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