Israel Adesanya Reveals He Will Not Fight Robert Whittaker Until 2022

Published 08/18/2021, 11:11 AM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 10: Israel Adesanya of New Zealand stands in his corner prior to his middleweight bout against Anderson Silva of Brazil during the UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena on February 10, 2019 in the Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Ever since Israel Adesanya defended his title against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263. There has been much speculation as to when the fighter will step in the Octagon again. Many believed that Adesanya will face Robert Whittaker in a rematch later this year. However, recently there has been news that the fight between Adesanya and Whittaker will not take place until 2022.

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During a recent interview, Ariel Helwani asked Adesanya about the same. He asked ‘The Last Stylebender’ whether it was true that the fight won’t take place before 2022. Adesanya said, “Yeah, most likely, most likely yeah. November was done. But this whole MIQ business like you has got bots now. People in East Asia like looking for a voucher. Coz you know you have to buy vouchers to be able to quarantine.”

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“So within three minutes of them getting announced, they are all sold out. Because you’ve got bots in like, people in other countries like actively looking for it and then alerting people when the vouchers have come on. So if you try to book for the month of December within 3, 4 minutes, the vouchers are just gone.”

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Adesanya talked about how the reason behind the fight not happening anytime soon is the COVID-19 restrictions. Specifically, The MIQ (Managed Isolation and quarantine) rule which has been implemented for people traveling to and from New Zealand.

Israel Adesanya believes pro athletes should have some exemption from quarantine protocols

Helwani also checked with Adesanya whether pro athletes are given an exemption from these rules. To this Adesanya said, “Nahhhh, No, I thought they should’ve let the Wallabies in here on just over the weekend when they played against the all blacks, on some exemption, I don’t know. It is what it is, coz it’s kind of sad, you know.”

“I understand coz you might have people who maybe could never see their parents die or attend their funeral coz of this MIQ bulls*it so, yeah I know, it might not be important, it’s all relative, it’s all relative. What we are doing is important to us and I think is important to the country.”

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“Because we are bringing in a lot of economic value into the country, so we should have an exemption like some of these other sporting teams and acting you know. We’ll see, we’ll see at the moment. We’re not. We have to adapt and overcome.”

While Adesanya was compassionate about people who have suffered losses during these tough times. ‘The Last Stylebender’ does believe that as athletes are bringing in economic value for the country, they should have certain exemptions from the rules.

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Paras Pande

560 articles

Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.

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