‘I Physically Cannot Make It That Date’- Robert Whittaker Opens Up On Israel Adesanya vs Marvin Vettori

Published 04/29/2021, 10:35 AM EDT


Robert Whittaker dominated Kelvin Gastelum in his last fight, which took place not even a month ago. If he already wasn’t the clear #1 contender for the UFC Middleweight title before the fight, the win made his case iron-clad. However, the UFC have already announced the next title fight. Israel Adesanya will be defending against Marvin Vettori instead of Whittaker.

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The fight is taking place at UFC 263, and it was offered to Whittaker first. However, it was almost impossible for Whittaker to take the fight as he has to heal up from injuries. Along with that, Whittaker is still in quarantine. But he is confident that his number will come after this fight is over.

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“I’m not too worried. I haven’t thought about it much to be honest because Israel wanted a fighter that day. That’s fine. I physically cannot make that date. My injuries won’t heal in time, I won’t get out of quarantine, I won’t have a camp in time. And it’s a title fight, so it’s not something you can rush. I physically cannot make that date. He really wants to fight that date, Vettori go ahead and jump in. I’ll just fight the winner later in the year.” 

Robert Whittaker: Will he get his shot in 2021?

Robert Whittaker has taken more fights than he needed to establish his claim to the title. He is a former champion who has beaten three top contenders since. Most former titleholders get immediate rematches, but Whittaker has taken three people out already.

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 09: Robert Whittaker of New Zealand celebrates after defeating Yoel Romero of Cuba by split decision in their middleweight fight during the UFC 225 event at the United Center on June 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

While Whittaker feels he will get a shot this year, there are a number of factors that could change that. Israel Adesanya could lose the title, and the UFC could give him an immediate rematch before they let Whittaker fight. Marvin Vettori could lose the fight, but could end up injuring Adesanya, which would put the Kiwi on the shelf.

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If everything goes ideally, Izzy will beat Vettori again and then look ahead to a rematch with Whittaker. Adesanya is starting to lap the Middleweight contenders, and Whittaker seems like the best man to end his reign after his evolution since his one-sided loss to Izzy in 2019.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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