UFC head honcho Dana White has fast tracked Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz for a Light Heavyweight bout, after Adesanya’s Number 1 Middleweight contender Robert Whittaker stated he has no interest in fighting Adesanya again.
Whittaker earned his Number 1 contender status after defeating Jared Cannonier in the co-main event of UFC 254 via decision, but stated that instead of pursuing a match with “The Last Stylebender”, he would rather take some time away from the Octagon to spend time with his children over the holiday season.
Whittaker (left) squaring up with Cannonier (right) before his decision victory at UFC 254
With no clear challenger in sight, Adesanya mentioned that he was interested in a venture into the Light Heavyweight division, prompting newly-crowned champion Jan Blachowicz to graciously welcome him to the division if that is the path the Middleweight chooses to go down.
In the aftermath of Whittaker’s decision, White confirmed in an interview with ESPN that “he [Adesanya] and I met yesterday, we had a great time, we had a great meeting yesterday”, adding that he was “adamant” about Adesanya squaring off with Whittaker, but with the latter’s announcement scuppering those plans, White stated in the aforementioned interview “OK, then he’ll move up to 205 and fight Jan.”
However, he offered no details about the specifics of the fight, such as the fate of Adesanya’s Middleweight title, whether Blachowicz’s title would be put on the line, or any kind of timeframe.
The prospect of the undefeated Adesanya and the formidable Blachowicz locking horns in the Octagon is surely a welcome change, as the Polish champion is still searching for his first fight since beating Dominick Reyes for the vacant title at UFC 253, following the vacation by Adesanya’s new best enemy, Jon Jones.
In a rather (un)fortunate turn of events for “Bones” and “The Last Stylebender”, Adesanya’s seeming ascension to the 205lbs division puts him within touching distance to the man who sees himself as the GOAT, although Jones’ preparations for his own heavyweight adventures has postponed a clash between the two, but it is unlikely that Jones can keep Adesanya at bay forever.