After Israel Adesanya won his last fight over Paulo Costa, Dana White said he had a rematch with Robert Whittaker in mind for the Middleweight Champion next. But, Whittaker did not want to take the fight, so White gave Adesanya the green signal to move up to 205-pounds.
Israel Adesanya: I know what he means
Although Robert Whittaker passed on the opportunity of a title shot, he had a good enough reason to do so. "The Reaper" wanted to use the remainder of the year to spend the Holiday season with his family and be there for the birth of his child.
Israel Adesanya empathized with Whittaker on Submission Radio, saying that he understood how important it is to spend time with family.
"I too wanna spend Christmas with my family, and I will. I mean, behind the scenes I’m doing a lot to ensure my family makes it home for Christmas and we all spend Christmas together as a family. It’s important to me."
Israel Adesanya is confident he will meet Robert Whittaker again when the time is right. But for now, he said he understands Whittaker's decision behind not taking the fight with him.
"I’ll probably see him again in New Zealand again down the line and it’s one of those things, you don’t push or force…I get it, I get it."
Whenever Robert Whittaker decides to come back, he would deserve a shot at the Middleweight title, proving that with his last two victories. "The Reaper" bounced back from his knockout loss to Israel Adesanya last year with back-to-back decision wins over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Whittaker also made it clear that the rematch with Israel Adesanya is the only fight he wants right now. The Middleweight title is what he will be eyeing the moment he is back in the Octagon.
In the meantime, Israel Adesanya will look to become a two-division champion by beating Jan Blachowicz at Light Heavyweight.
"The Last Stylebender" has a long history of Twitter warfare with the former 205-pound champion Jon Jones, who vacated his title recently. Blachowicz then picked it up after beating Dominick Reyes.