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Adesanya set for UFC title fight against Whittaker in Melbourne


Israel Adesanya (right), who beat Kelvin Gastelum to become the UFC Interim Middleweight champion, will battle with former champion, Robert Whittaker in Australia…on October 6.

Nigerian-born Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim middleweight titleholder, Israel Adesanya, says he is set for the ‘big’ battle against Robert Whittaker on October 6 in Melbourne, Australia.

Whittaker was supposed to defend his middleweight title against Kelvin Gastelum in February this year at UFC 234, but he pulled out after he was forced to undergo emergency dual surgery due to an abdominal hernia of the intestine and a twisted and collapsed bowel.

Adesanya stepped up for the fight in April in Atlanta, USA, where he forced some bitter pills down the throat of the Mexican fighter, Kelvin Gastelum, to claim the UFC interim middleweight title.


The Nigerian had thrilled millions of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fans across the world with a fascinating victory against Brazil’s Anderson Silva during a UFC 234 contest in Melbourne earlier in February.

Now, Adesanya has to face Robert Whittaker in the battle of Melbourne to decide the real champion in the UFC middleweight class. The event will hold at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on October 6.

The Guardian learnt yesterday that Adesanya has since commenced real preparation for the ‘big’ fight, and is confident of adding Whittaker to his ‘casualty’ list on October 6.

“Israel is preparing for the fight as usual in New Zealand,” his father, Femi Adesanya said in a chat with The Guardian from his base in New Zealand yesterday. “His opponent, Whittaker, was born in New Zealand, but fights outside of Australia.”

Adesanya visited Nigeria in May this year, 16 years after he took his martial arts business to New Zealand. During the visit, he told The Guardian that he would do everything possible to defeat Robert Whittaker for the UFC middleweight title whenever the fight comes up.

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