According to Ariel Helwani of ESPN MMA, Robert Whittaker's fellow UFC middleweight contender Marvin Vettori is the frontrunner to challenge Israel Adesanya next for the title.
Taking to Twitter, Helwani reported (via The Bill Simmons Podcast) that Adesanya is currently aiming to make his Octagon return on June 12th. The original hope for the card was a rematch between Adesanya and Whittaker, but the turnaround seems to be too quick for The Reaper.
After losing the UFC middleweight championship to Adesanya in 2019, Robert Whittaker has won three fights in a row in the UFC. The former 185-lbs champion started his redemption journey with a victory over Darren Till on UFC Fight Island.
At UFC 254, Whittaker put away Jared Cannonier in the co-main event of the pay-per-view. The former middleweight champion's latest victory was over Adesanya's former foe Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24.
Robert Whittaker is yet to receive his UFC middleweight title rematch
After beating Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24, Robert Whittaker made it known that he finally wants to shift his focus towards a rematch with Izzy.
Meanwhile, another top contender in the form of Marvin Vettori has also been on a solid run. The Italian Dream only has a few losses on his UFC record so far, with one of them being against Adesanya from 2018.
In his recent fights, Vettori dominated the likes of Karl Roberson, along with top contenders like Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland. Currently riding on a five-fight win streak, Vettori has also been vouching for a rematch against the reigning UFC middleweight champion.
Adesanya himself will be determined to bounce back from his first MMA loss against Jan Blachowicz when he takes to the Octagon for his next middleweight title defense.