Putting the stamp on kids
UFC wants Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya unifier in Australia, interim champ pushes for New Zealand
[DOUBLEPOST=1555282031,1555281904][/DOUBLEPOST]Paulo Costa mocks 'fake' champ Israel Adesanya: The division has 'been better than this (expletive)'UFC President Dana White wants a stadium show in Australia for the Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya middleweight title unifier after “The Last Stylebender” won interim gold at UFC 236.
Adesanya (17-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) defeated Kelvin Gastelum (15-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) by unanimous decision on Saturday to claim the interim 185-pound belt in “Fight of the Year” contender, which co-headlined UFC 236. The win sets up a showdown with Whittaker (20-4 MMA, 11-2 UFC), and White said he knows exactly where he wants it to take place.
“We were going to do that fight here; I wanted that fight in the U.S.,” White told reporters, including MMA Junkie, post-fight at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. “We’re definitely not doing that fight in the U.S. That fight is going to Australia. It will be massive in Australia. I put my guys on that. That’s their homework for this week. A stadium, not an arena, A stadium in Australia.”
Whittaker currently lives in Australia and has been scheduled to headline cards twice in the country over the past two years. He couldn’t make it to fight night for either matchup, but White said he hopes the third time will be the charm in a stadium environment.
Adesanya, who hails from New Zealand after being born in Nigeria, said he has a different idea in mind, though. He wants the fight on his home turf and said he will encourage the promotion to make that happen. First, though, he has to heal up from a brutal fight in which he took much damage.
“It could be in Australia, but Auckland I think is a viable option, as well,” Adesanya said. “We can push back and forth, because he is a born Kiwi but he’s a Maussie. He’s representing Australia. When I’ll be ready again? He says August. I say let me go shower first.
“I want to be able to just close my mouth properly first, and then we’ll see.”
Time will tell where the bout ultimately takes place, but for now White said he’s reveling in the greatness that was Adesanya’s memorable encounter with Gastelum.
“Gastelum-Adesanya is one of the greatest fights I’ve ever seen in my life,” White said.