Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker Rematch Announced for UFC 271 in February

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 12, 2021

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JUNE 12: Israel Adesanya of Nigeria reacts after defeating Marvin Vettori of Italy by unanimous decision to win the middleweight championship during UFC 263 at Gila River Arena on June 12, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona.
Christian Petersen

Bring on the rematch. 

Israel Adesanya will defend his middleweight title for a second time against Robert Whittaker, and a fifth time overall, at UFC 271 on Feb. 12 in Houston.  

Adesanya won the first matchup between the pair by second-round knockout at 2019's UFC 243.

The 32-year-old Adesanya (21-1) is one of the UFC's biggest stars, blasting to the top of the fighting world since first stepping in the Octagon in 2018. His lone loss came when he attempted to move to light heavyweight against Jan Blachowicz, a five-round decision that went against him. 

Whittaker, 30, has won three straight fights since losing to Adesanya, defeating Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum, all by unanimous decision. He's 23-5 in his career and had won nine straight fights in the UFC before his loss to Adesanya.

The original bout between this pair was arguably Adesanya's most dominant performance, and it was clear he wanted to run it back, calling out Whittaker after beating Marvin Vettori at UFC 263:

UFC @ufc

You heard the man πŸ—£<a href="https://twitter.com/stylebender?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Stylebender</a> wants to run it back for a PART II in Auckland <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFC263?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFC263</a> <a href="https://t.co/XizFMJgt44">pic.twitter.com/XizFMJgt44</a>

Whittaker didn't need much convincing:

Robert Whittaker @robwhittakermma

Rest up, see you soon. <a href="https://twitter.com/ufc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ufc</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ufc263?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ufc263</a>

In September, UFC president Dana White said it was a fight the promotion was trying to put together. 

"That's a fight we want to make, so we're working on it," he told the Daily Telegraph. "I will get that done."

Whittaker's goal is to make sure White has to put on a trilogy in the future as he looks to recover the middleweight crown.