Israel Adesanya vs Robert Whittaker Rematch Might Not Happen Until 2022 Due to Unfortunate Circumstances

Published 08/14/2021, 12:55 AM EDT


Fans will have to wait until 2022 for a matchup between middleweight title challenger Robert Whittaker and the champion Israel Adesanya. Earlier, the matchup between the two men was targeted for UFC 268. Also, the card was set to take place in Madison Square Garden. However, in the ever-changing world that we live in because of the pandemic, it looks as though that fight might not take place in New York. 

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While speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Whittaker’s manager, Titus Day, provided an update on the current situation. He said, “Rob had been told he would be fighting at Madison Square Garden. But there have been some issues since and it can’t happen. Apparently, Adesanya could get into America for the fight, but he wouldn’t have been able to get back to New Zealand immediately afterwards [because of quarantine restrictions]”

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Day continued, “So while we know the fight is going to happen, it’s now become a matter of when. Unfortunately, given everything going on with COVID in Australia and New Zealand at the moment, it may not be until early next year.”

Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya might not be able to fight it out in New Zealand

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Following his win over Marvin Vettori, ‘The Last Stylebender’ said that he would like to face Whittaker next. He also stated that he would like the fight to take place in his home country of New Zealand. Unfortunately for the middleweight king, that will not be a possibility. 

Both New Zealand and Australia have had some of the most restrictive rules regarding travel and COVID-19. This has allowed them to manage the outbreak within the country. The New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced that the country would ease restrictions for travelers in early 2022. 

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Therefore, there is little to no chance that a fight between Whittaker and Adesanya can take place in New Zealand in 2021. Additionally, fighters from Australia and New Zealand have to quarantine for 14-days once they get back, which further complicates the process. 

When do you think Adesanya and Whittaker will be able to face each other? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kevin Binoy

1186 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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