Dana White confirms Israel Adesanya's next fight as UFC boss makes huge announcement weeks after Pereira KO | The Sun
UFC president Dana White has announced Israel Adesanya's next fight.
The Last Stylebender returned to the win column earlier this month with a brutal second-round knockout of long-time rival Alex Pereira – which saw him reclaim the middleweight title.
Attention immediately turned to who will be next for the Nigerian-born Kiwi, who has nearly cleared out the division.
And the answer came when White announced former champion Robert Whittaker will face surging South African Dricus du Plessis in a title eliminator in July.
The 53-year-old said: "Sorry guys we just got another one done last night. I have one more announcement for you.
"On Saturday, July 8 at UFC 290, we have a middleweight title eliminator.
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"The former champion Robert Whittaker – whose only losses in the last nine years are to the champ Israel Adesanya – he will be taking on Dricus du Plessis.
"Du Plessis has won seven straight fights and finished six of them.
“The winner of that fight will fight Adesanya later this year. And that fight is targeted for Sydney, Australia.
"That's just one fight that's part of what's going to be part of a huge International Fight Week."
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Whittaker's reign as middleweight king came to an end in October 2019 at the hands of Adesanya – who knocked him out in the second round of their Trans-Tasman showdown.
And the Aussie came up short in their rematch in February 2021, suffering a unanimous decision defeat.
Du Plessis has put himself in title contention with six finishes in his last seven outings, including wins over Brit Darren Till and veteran Derek Brunson.
Du Plessis found himself on Adesanya's radar last month after declaring himself the UFC's "real African fighter".
The comments didn't sit well with Adesanya, who said in the UFC 287 post-fight press conference: “I don’t wanna give this n**** clout. I don’t.
"I wanna whoop his ass so bad. I wanna whoop his ass so bad.
"I wanna do it in South Africa, or Nigeria, but he’s got to do work, he’s got to do something, show me something, so I can whoop that ass and I can show you history.
“I’ll remind you, because you got to choose your words wisely when you speak on people that have come before you, people that paved the way for you.
"You gotta pick your words wisely. You wanna try and be a big boy – I want be with the big boys. Go choose your words wisely, but I don’t wanna give him no clout.
“But if he does work and, and, I pray to God, he keeps winning, I will gladly drag his carcass across South Africa.”
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